Thursday, December 31, 2009

the required 2010 new years post ... kinda.

belly and lights, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
i sat. last night. (believe it or not.)

and thought. without doing much of anything else.
(at least until i saw the belly amidst twinkling lights and decided that it needed to be recorded with the camera.)

i thought about how 2010 ... is the year i never saw coming. it's the year that i never knew i was going to have. it's the year in which i become the mama of three.

and it's not so far away.
the midwife told me on monday ... super secret ... but in a week and a half ... they wouldn't stop labor from moving forward. (she also noted that pregnancy could also go for another 8 weeks or so ... but ... i chose not to listen very well to that statement ... and i suggest highly that you don't either.)

and i'm feeling confident.
about labor.
about bringing a baby home.
about being the rock that my girls need me to be as they adjust into their new roles of biggEST sister and bigger sister.
about working.
about raising 3 children with an amazing husband that is gone way too often.
about who i'm becoming.

and my single resolution for the year is to harbor this confidence that i feel right now as i lie in front of twinkling lights and feel this baby moving around and hear my girly-girls asleep in their bed.

that's all.

here's to hoping that you are sharing in this confidence as you venture into your 2010 as well.
happy new years to all of you out there.
thanks for helping me along the way.

Monday, December 21, 2009

apparently someone in texas has too much time on their hands ...

So far ... this is the wackiest holiday letter we have received this year.  apparently ... "big news" in our area a few weeks ago surrounded an episode that occurred when a certain somebody came to town to sign books.

and no ... it wasn't the pioneer woman.

and there was another certain someone that decided they didn't like that first certain someone and threw tomatoes at her.  i guess they missed.  (honestly ... i didn't know that until i read this letter.)

and that person just so happens to have the same name as my husband.  which is a very common name in this scandinavian area of the frozen north ...

but it so wasn't him.  he was working ... and i guess above and beyond that ... he would never have thrown tomatoes at someone.  he's much more of the debating type

but ... irregardless ... he received this letter in the mail. 
and i haven't decided if it's wackier that this person would have sent it to EVERY person with that name in the surrounding area ... or if they only sent it to my husband and thought that they must have gotten the right guy on the first try.

by the way ... i've tried my best to protect your virgin eyes from the vulgar words that were contained within the letter ... you're welcome.

if you can't read it ... this is what it says ...

Dear (name removed to protect the innocent),

You are a PRICK for throwing tomatoes at Sar.ah and you are a PUSSY for missing!  What a GirlyMan!

I can just imagine the kind of little sissy liberal you are!

Why don't you come to Texas and try that when she comes here?  I'll bet you don't have the balls!

We don't put up with candy - a$$ - sh!*-heads like you here.  You would be dragged out behind the bookstore and receive the a$$-whipping you deserve.

I'll bet Sar.ah is more of a MAN than you are.

You are luck she did not B!*@%-SLAP right there.

Good luck in court for this one you Moron!

oh my goodness ... do you know how hard it is to type that many grammatical errors and illogical capitalizations?

it's hard.

and ultimately ... i'm not gonna go all political on you ... because really?  is there anything else i can say?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

because my husband wasn't home last night ...

sleeping, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
and i'm pretty sure he would have loved to have seen this ...

after a day like yesterday ... in which they tested me. all. day. long.
and i attempted an hour of christmas shopping. with them. in a mall. on a saturday. the week before christmas.

and we are attempting for the second time (the first attempt was destroyed by the h1n1 virus that blew through our family) having them sleep together. because pretty soon baby boy blue is going to be needing the crib. and the nursery-ish room. and cora really is a big girl.

and we haven't bought a bunk bed. because instead last weekend we bought a new water heater and an emergency vet visit.

well ... all those things ... just ... don't seem significant ... when you see them sleeping together. arms intertwined. peaceful as can be.

i'm sorry you missed it honey.

Friday, December 18, 2009

i had an idea ...

autumn 187, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
but it didn't work out like i had hoped ... and i'm a bit uncomfortable showing this!  it's an awful picture ... i know.  but i need some input on what i could do better next time! 

i really wanted a cute picture of the girly girl friends jumping on the "hill" (really ... you don't want to know what it actually is ... but it looks good in a picture, no?)

i had aspirations for the sun behind them and the movement and the excited fun faces.

i took so many pictures. this is probably one of the better ones ... and i'm posting this in the attempt to see if others can help me see what i did wrong ... because they so did not turn out like i had hoped.

Some of the EXIF data!
Camera: Nikon D50
Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/50)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 55 mm
Focal Length: 55.0 mm
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: No Flash
File Size: 1510 kB
File Type: JPEG
MIME Type: image/jpeg

posted at i {heart} faces constructive feedback friday!  yes ... i'm looking for people to be critical ... so go for it!

oh and by the way ... my attempt at an edit ... i found that the change to b/w -ish ... helped minimally ... but seemed to bring out a bit more of what i was looking for!
(edited using picnik)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i {heart} faces ... pets only!

eagle with sunspots, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.

a beautiful eagle at our local zoo ... and a splash of sunflarish spots that appeared ... i had to enter this picture ... it was one of those moments where the sun lines up just so ... and makes a decent shot into a better shot.  couldn't replicate it if i tried. 

anyone else think it's funny that i chose to submit a picture of a non-coconutbelly pet?

because really ... living within a zoo of pets and kids should make this i {heart} faces pet challenge easy, right??


except that so often ... i forget to document the pets that make our household so full of ... whatever it makes them full of.

most days ... weeks ... i am much more positive about our life with pets. this week ...after the water heater breaking down and the dog having to be brought in for emergency medical procedures ... within several hours of each other ... and the cat puke ... and the kid puke ... and of course ... a pilot husband ... that is off flying around the east coast ...

i'm not that happy with our zoo of pets.
yes ... they teach responsibility.
yes ... they lay upon my feet at night when i'm freezing cold.
yes ... they are a comfort and can sense when i'm feeling upset by something that many of the people around me can't see.

but ... holy ... $1000 later ... whew.  (and that was just the cost of the dog.) 
happy holidays! 
... we would send out holiday cards ... but the cost of the dog bills ate them.

the $100 yearly fee for the zoo membership makes this a much less expensive "pet" to have around ... although i wouldn't be so keen on letting him warm my feet at night.

check out the other fun and cute and (maybe a bit more) cuddly entries over here!

this post brought to you by ... i {heart} faces ... have i ever mentioned how much i love that blog?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

random ... even though it isn't tuesday.

because many many moons ago ... i used to jump in on a random tuesday post thingy that the unmom did.
and then i went back to work.
or maybe that's just the excuse that i'm going to use right now ... but my brain is full of all sorts of random-ish thoughts and i need to get them out of here ... 'cause i really need my bed.

or moreso ... i need to get myself into my bed.  and fall fast asleep.  and get out of this crabby ass mood so that i can be in a betterish mood for the weekend.

i'm really really REALLY hungry for a pineapple.  craving. in fact.  like a juicy gigantic cut-into-it pineapple.  and the canned sort just will not do.  absolutely will not do.  in fact.  i would almost much prefer to hop a plane to hawaii and pick myself a pineapple to sit down and enjoy in the middle of a sandy beach.  except that i rarely have a super-sharp knife and cutting board with myself when i venture to the beach.  but this time would be different.  i would be prepared.

it sucks being married to a pilot.  'cause if he were here ... i could say ... i'm really really REALLY hungry for a pineapple.  and that dear sweet man that occasionally drives me absolutely crazy would probably run to the store and get me one. 
actually ... he would probably say, "do you really really REALLY want a pineapple?  'cause i'll go get it if you REALLY REALLY REALLY want it."
and then i would probably say, "never mind.  it's not that important." as i laid there in bed drooling and crying because i really DID want a pineapple.
and then he wouldn't.
except tomorrow i would come home from work and he would have bought me a pineapple and he probably would have cut it up already so that i didn't have to use the knife and cutting board.
but it won't happen ... 'cause he's not here anyways.

public service announcement ... don't attempt to find christmas dresses in any sort of matching way for your two little girls at this point in time because holy ... there are no options. 

and don't start to mention any idea about possibly going to see santa because your children will drive you crazy.

i'm thinking of taking them monday morning ... because it's my day off.  is that crazy?  stupid?  extremely intelligent?  jeremy said next year we are taking them in november ... because then they can't change their minds 18 times about what they are going to ask santa for ...

so far ... cora has wanted a pink dress ... a pumpkin ... a pumpkin tree ... a purple ring with a purple flower on it ... and a veterinarian set for dogs and cats.  only a few of those options are feasible.

the picture of my shadow in the header makes me laugh every time i see it.  that is totally not my b00b.  it's my elbow.  and the bitty bump off of my tummy ... not. my. belly. button.  it's a wrinkle on my pants.  i have no belly button.  seriously.  it's gone. completely.  cora asks where it is daily.

why is ice only yummy to eat after it has soaked in a beverage for some amount of time?  it's like the ice gets more ... porous.  is that how you spell that?  'cause it looks weird.  seriously.  and it breaks up easier and it is so good to eat.  except ... it's like ... 0 or less degrees outside ... and ice and cold weather are sucky.

stellers asked the other day why we don't live in a place where there is a pattern like ... spring summer spring summer spring summer spring summer spring summer... i don't know the answer.  i hate winter.  (and i secretly love winter  it's pretty.  i love to look at the way that the icy snow melts around the christmas lights.  i love the way that the snow balances itself atop the bare branches of the trees ... and occasionally topples to the ground.  i DESPISE driving on snowy icy roads.

i found out the other day that a former student of mine passed away.  i've worked with so many medically fragile kiddos.  i knew this day would come someday.  i just didn't want it to.  the image of her smile has been playing repetitiously in my head for days. 

for your information ... i DAILY write blog posts in my head.  they just rarely get transferred to the computer.  and sometimes i write them in there and then they disappear into the depths ... i blame pregnancy brain ... i need help coming up with another excuse after the baby comes. 
feel free to leave ideas in the comments section.

i'm finally comfortable with our baby name.  it feels right.  i think because the girls have taken to calling him that.  and they are no longer adament that they will be naming him "big burt" or as cora says, "big burp".  thank god.

sometimes ... i can cup my hand around his little baby bot.tom and it fits.  already.  like he was meant to be in my hands.  like he is the final piece of our puzzle.  and i feel solid.  complete.  and ready.  irregardless of the baby nursery being finished and clothes being put into his drawers ...

and other days ... i can't believe that he will ever truly be here.  not in the ... i can't wait to not be pregnant ... this child is NEVER coming ... kind of way.  but in the ... when you've lost a baby before ... you will always have doubts that a pregnancy will complete itself and baby will be the outcome of it ... kind of way.  even with every kick and roll and reminder ... there is always a doubt.

i told my friends at work that i didn't want a baby shower.  there were a few co-workers that truly wanted to give me one.  except i feel that a third baby just doesn't need all. that. stuff.  (this coming from the woman that a few weeks ago wrote a post about how stressed out i am because i don't have all! that! stuff!)  and i'm pretty sure that material dye in a navy color could erase any memory of pink that those pants had when the girls wore them.  except for the ruffle butt.  that might not be so good.

whew.  i think that helped.  off to bed now.  without pineapple. 
which would probably never have been a good thing to take into my bed with me in the first place.  ew.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

five and a half ... fashionably late ...

is 32 68 days late considered fashionable??  ...  or just plain forgetful? (especially considering that i started this ... and then didn't finish and then put it off ... and now i'm finally getting around to it.)

last year ... about 31 67 days ago ... i had decided upon starting a blog (aka the record of my children) that on their true birthDAY ... i would celebrate the number of things that i loved about them that corresponded to their new age. 
and on their half birthday ... i would celebrate the fun and amazing things about them that i just plain wanted to remember (without any restrictions on numbers and such).

and last year.  i remembered a day late.  or i posted a day late.  i have no idea.  but let's just say it was relatively on-time.

this year, though, in the midst of life's crazies.  i got a little behind and actually (possibly?) forgot about it for quite some days in there. 

but i'm only admitting that to you, my dear stella ... because honestly ... it's life.  it's what happens when you are living your life rather than just trying to write about it.  things get misplaced and ignored ... not because they are any less important.  but just because living life with you is what i have realized is the most important thing in the world.  not recording it.  but i still want you to know who you were ... today ... so i may be a bit late ... but it's still said with all the love in the world.

and here it is ...
the little things that i most absolutely love about you ... your quirks ... your passions ... your you.
-- you are a 15 year old in the body of a 5 year old ... which must be exhausting and hard and ridiculously frustrating.  so ease up a bit darling.  don't grow up so fast.  (unless of course that means that you will bypass the teenage years of angst.)

-- you struggle daily with how to be big enough ... but not too big.

-- you still love light pink

-- you finally got your fairy rock princess flower room, painted the most perfect shade of pink.  a mere two months before we found out you would be sharing that room with your younger sister. 

-- you are intuitive.  and so observant of who and what and where.  you always have been.  i just don't listen to it as much as i should.

-- you occasionally drive me bonkers with your ability to taunt your little sister.  i know that it's part of the growing process.  and i know that it's what little girls do to their younger sisters ... but seriously ... i'm gonna go crazy.  can we just speed right through this little phase and move onto something better?

-- you are a zealous learner.  you sat down in your new kindergarten class ready to learn.  and not everyone else was.  we trucked through, though.  those first few weeks were so frustrating.  you indicated boredom.  a word that i have never heard you use to describe something.  you are much too passionate for the word *bored*.

-- you and your daddy are so strongheaded.  and sometimes ... you bonk your heads together in a match of wills.  neither of you ever win.  but you are both learning to compromise just a bit.

-- you will always be a mama's girl.  but you've realized that daddy's give in on some things (like a small glass of coke at lunch or a bite of candy before breakfast) ... and you are thrilled at the possibility of daddy being more than willing to allow some of the no-way-joses from mom.

-- you asked us if we believe in ghosts the other day.  being the responsible mom i am ... i said i didn't know.  being the honest daddy that he is ... daddy said yes, he does.  unfortunately that means that you have been waking up every night convinced that there are ghosts. 

-- but you still can't say words that end in -sts.  so ghosts ... is ghosteses.  and nests ... is still nesteses.  i've given up on correcting it.

-- you are slowly but surely realizing that you don't always have to have the pink cup and the pink plate and the doll. 

-- and realizing that if you pretend like you really did want the other color/plate/doll ... more often than not your sister will take that one instead and then you can get the one that you really wanted.

-- you can read AND write.  you just don't believe in yourself enough yet.

-- you still write on walls and desks and skin and non-paperish items ... but you always write things like "i love mommy and daddy" or "love" or "you are the best mom ever" or "mom-wow" ... and i struggle with getting upset that i have to clean it and knowing that you wrote something that was unquestionably important to you. 

-- you love having the job of feeding jazzy.  primarily because you want her to love you as much as she loves me. 

-- jet lays with you each and every night as you drift off to sleep.  and he only ever leaves the room when you are finally dreaming.  which is how daddy and i know that you are out for the night.

-- you still love to have your feet rubbed each and every night before bed.  and sometimes in the middle of the night.  and sometimes three times throughout the night.  and it drives me crazy.  but then again ... it ALWAYS takes me back to those first months of us nuzzling together and getting to know each other ... and mostly ... it always opens my eyes to just how ... big ... you have become.

-- you LOVE to wear dresses and skirts.  i've convinced you that it's totally fashionable to wear them with jeans and pants underneath ... but you still prefer tights.  (i'm still not sure how you got so girly.  i surely never was.)

-- you are becoming more and more excited everyday about having a baby in the house.  again.  you love babies.  you always have. 

-- i remarked to you today that you are a social butterfly.  you are always thinking you saw a friend from school ... or someone you know ... clear across town in a flash as we are driving down the street. 

-- you love to watch han.nah montana and i.carly and wiz.ards of wav.erly place.  and i'm just not ready for any of that.  nor are you.  so we have had so many discussions about how what those people are doing in the show ... is not who they are in real life.  that people don't really act like that.  and how those kids are so. much. older. than you ... you have plenty of time to get there.  but i still let you watch it every once in awhile.

-- you are developing this big-girl sense of humor ... and i don't laugh just because you are cute anymore.  i truly laugh because you are funny.  especially your rendition of an old woman that doesn't want to date boppa because she doesn't like kayaking.  that first emerged amid the firelight from our bonfire while camping up north.  it gets me everytime.

-- speaking of boppa.  as a girl that was a daddy's girl ... i cannot express to you how much i love the fact that you love your boppa.  i'm glad that you two have such a special friendship. 

-- tonight.  as i put you in your bed after a thoroughly exhausting day of mama's crazy pregnancy hormones coupled with your trying to be too big attitude ... in which you had too many time outs.  you quietly apologized for all of your not-so-cute behaviors.  and you asked me if i still loved you as big as the universe.  i answered.  of course i do darling.  a mommy's love NEVER ceases.  never.  and then you wanted to know what -ceases- meant. 

and for the record ... that apology and question ... as you were drifting off to sleep?  was the perfect ending to my crazy day. 
proof to myself about why i am a mommy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

almost there ...

too tall tipped bench2, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
another week has gone by ... too few posts ... but another entry over at i {heart} faces ...

which ... funny enough ... doesn't want to see faces this week.
it's all about the ... behinds. seats. pockets. tushies to be exact.

this week is i {heart} tushies.
click on over here to see all the fun entries!

snapped this picture in the midst of attempting to get all of the grandchildren onto a bench at the apple orchard.
a very tilted bench at the apple orchard.
a very tilted (and apparently tall) bench at the apple orchard.

poor coconut.
mama decided to take a picture rather than give her a boost.
i guess that's what happens when mama has a camera in her hand.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

can i just mention the fact that i just realized that 2 months is actually equivalent to 8 WEEKS?

and holy granola batman ... i have A LOT to do.

for example... 

15-ish orders for necklaces.  which yippee!  is money in the pocket ... or actually money that will quickly move from the pocket to various shopping locations in the attempt to fulfill christmas lists ... because as much as i would like to claim a completely homemade holiday around here ... we all know that isn't gonna happen.

cora wants a pumpkin.  from santa.  and i am overwhelmed by the possibility that FINDING an actual pumpkin at the very tail end of december will be remotely impossible.  (and a certain someone that i'm not going to mention ... stella ...told her that "santa is magic.  he can do anything.  he has flying reindeer.  someone that has flying reindeer can grow a pumpkin in the winter."  crap.)

16 current evaluations to complete before early february ... at work.  each one approximately 2 hours in length and about 1 hour to write up.  which if i calculate that correctly ... is basically ... AN. ENTIRE. WEEK. OF. WORK.  and i still have to do all of the other daily tasks associated with my job.  so in other words.  when am i gonna find the time?

the baby has next to nothing.  minimally ... yes ... i'm a third time mama here ... i am fully aware of what a baby needs from a minimal point of view
diapers.  clothing.  blankets.  car seat.  burp cloths.
diapers ... i think i saved some of our prefolds or at the very least rescued them from the to be used as rags pile.  not sure that i can even remotely remember where covers are.  i have no pockets for baby-ish size.  and he could potentially wear all pink and purple pocket diapers from age 6 months on.  (apparently the thought of having another baby ... or that the surprise! grand finale! baby would be also receive the nickname of little boy blue ... was no where in my brain when ordering cute little pink and purple cloth diapers!  oops.)
clothing ... so lucky.  a friend has willingly thrown donated a box of 0-6 month boy clothes so that she could finally get that giant box out of her storage room we didn't have a naked little boy blue.  except.  their boys were more summer-ish ... and there is a lot of short sleeve action happening in that box.
blankets ... most of which have been overtaken by the just slightly baby obsessed little girls that play in my basement with oodles of baby dolls.  i don't even remember which blankets are real and which ones are baby doll blankets anymore.
car seat ... unfortunately it will be too cold to walk home from the hospital.  which is only about 2 miles away ... so technically ... walking is an option.  but ... oh yeah! ... we live in minnesota.  in january-ish/february-ish ... freaking ass cold.  not the weather you take a new baby out in willingly.  same friend mentioned above said her little guy might be out of his car seat by then.  but what if he's not? 
burp cloths ... probably not a must on everyone's list ... but ... oh my holy goodness ... if you've ever seen my babies as little tiny things you will eagerly note their preference for sucking down the milk so wonderfully and then spitting it all up a mere minutes later.  (and still managing to gain weight like nobody's business.  i make pure whole milk ... i'm thinking.)  so burp cloths?  a must.  and i'm pretty sure the previous baby ones are no where to be found at this point in time.  or are just plain uck. 

my car is a mess ...
i need to do about 5 loads of laundry ...
i don't have a breast pump ...
i haven't even started the baby quilt ... but i have the fabric! ...
i have to get cora completely moved out of the baby room ... and into the big! girl! room! ...
oh yeah ... and they need a bunk bed option ...
because we soon realized that stella tends to sleep ON cora at night ... and cora isn't such a big fan of that.
i need to get through the girly-girl clothes so that they both fit in a single dresser ...
i need to make sure that everything is in order at school so that i can walk out one day and not feel oodles of anxiety over what will happen while i'm gone ...

and at the very least ... i want my girly-girls to know that i love themabsolutely and completely.  all the time.  that they aren't being pushed out by this new little love.
even when i'm crabby and chaotic and rushed and dying to get them in bed so that i can have a few free minutes all to myself. 
even when i'm yawning as they tell me for the 68th time about something that never even made sense to me the first time around.
even when i forget the fact that they have been asking me to buy teddy grahams at the store ... and i've been to the store 3 times and have never once remembered the freaking teddy grahams


honestly?  sometimes getting it down ... on paper ... or the internets ... or whatever ... makes it look a little less threatening.

there are so many people dealing with so much more than all of what i have to do. 
i just need these little reminders to be more thank-full. 

so ... i'm thank-full ... right now.  for my 2 months.  my 8 weeks.  and my 56 days.

(and yes ... for your information ... i totally had to use a calculator for that.  i'm allowed to blame pregnancy brain.  aren't you glad i don't teach math?)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

sunflare on the slide

sunflare slide, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
another entry at i {heart} faces ...

i love seeing sunflare in people's photos.
i try to replicate it ... rather unsuccessfully most times ... but it's practice that makes perfect, right?

i wanted all weekend to get another attempt ... but with sick kids and sick husband and minimal-ish sun up here in the soon-to-be frozen tundra ...

i had to settle for an older attempt.

she knows she's not supposed to climb UP the slide ... but i caught her doing just that. ah well. we got sunflare.

check out the other entries ... just click on their logo above.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

my autumn beauty

autumn beauty, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
another photo entered over at i {heart} faces ...

my autumn beauty.

there's this awesomeness in the spring and summer of living beneath a canopy of oak trees on a plot of land that was once a tree farm.

during the summer months, you can lie on your back completely enveloped in the shade that is provided in the middle of our backyard.

as summer fades into fall ... the acorns begin a serious game of dodgeball.
side note? did you know that you can make acorn pancakes? seriously. i've considered it as a side income in the midst of acorns falling on my head as i sat by a bonfire.

and then ... true autumn.
a time of great beauty watching the leaves tumble to the ground ... before the trees are left completely bare for the upcoming winter.
a recollection of childhood jumping into the monsterous piles of leaves ... before daddy carts them all away.
a moment when you can lie in the middle of the backyard and feel the sun upon your face ... before old man winter reduces your chances of lying in the middle of the backyard to virtually nothing.

this girly-girl of mine enjoys it ... every. single. time. doesn't it show?

see more autumn beauties ... here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

too far away ... today.

"tell me some things we did in august," i whispered to my husband across the queen sized mattress ...

"we went camping.  i had my vacation time.  it was your mom's birthday," he answered thoughtfully, "why?"

"i'm just trying to see how long ago 2 and 1/2 months feels."

he smirked in the darkness.  i could tell. 

i'd been complaining about how frustrated i am with being pregnant this third time around all evening
how i feel like my entire body could fall to pieces if it wasn't for my skin holding me together. 
how i ache.  everywhere.
how i can't sleep an entire night. 
how difficult it is becoming just to roll over in bed. 
how i'm just not sure that i can really truly make it through another 2 and 1/2 months.

"and??"  he asked.

"all of those things feel like a really long time ago,"  i answered as a small tear escaped down my cheek and rested on my pillow.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

because she asked ...

pamela wants to know my chai recipe ...

and i feel a little silly showing it to her ... because honestly ... i really did truly start with a recipe ... a long long time ago.
but you know how those favorite foods and recipes evolve ?? 

and then you kinda end up with something similar ... but not quite ... what the recipe said??
but it's just as good ... if not better ... and then someone wants to know how you did it ...
and it's hard to describe without a lot of kind-ofs and sortas and -ish directions???

well that is this recipe ...
and when i actually ever get home and have a moment to look up the actual recipe ... i will share it.  pinky swear.

because it is so good.  so much better than the attempts at chai tea at most local coffee shop chains.

(came from a restaurant that we went to one time in the mountains of colorado.  seriously winding roads.  major altitude sickness.  freezing cold nights.  and a new years eve party that we left at 9:00 pm.  but, a whole lot of fun.  and in the midst of this colorado vacation ... we found this chai tea souvenior.  yum.)

on a crisp autumn day ... with a warm mug in hand ... and children quietly playing in the background. 
good luck with that last one.

and if you'd rather ... we have the most delicious ... chai tea restaurant restaurant that happens to serve chai tea ... ever here in minneapolis - namaste cafe
if you are ever here ... call me ... i can not pass up the opportunity to have a cup of their coconut creme chai tea. 


i'm drooling just thinking about it. 

and tonight we have plans to meet family at the spaghetti factory ... which kinda makes my stomach turn.  ugh.  spaghetti.  haven't been able to eat it since before being pregnant with cora.

i'll just dream of chai tea and edamame while i'm attempting to not look at anyone's plate of slimy noodles with oodles of tomato sauce on top.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

dear pioneer woman,

dear pioneer woman,

while this may come off as unusual ... i feel compelled to send you a record of this bizarre-o pregnancy dream that occurred last night. 
because, truly, you know how dreams are really only funny to the people that are in them?  or at least that's what people say over at the office water fountain in the morning?   "i had a dream about you and i last night," they say ... but then sometimes they don't SHARE the dream and then it's even creepier, 'cause you just walk around with the realization that jim-bob had a dream about you ...

ok ... so i'm realizing that this entire email may just come off as really creepy.  or maybe even it's just funny to me ... but i may just publish this on my blog ... because as you'll see in my description ... i need material.

and on a sidenote? 
pregnant dreams?
way. too. vivid.

so ... it all started with a blog post. 

no ... i take that back ... it all started with a tweet.

i was in the midst of attempting to tweet the @thesdcowgirl to tell her that she should come to mpls to join me at your book signing.  because apparently i decided that she, in sd, was the closest person that i "knew" out here in bloggy land.  my tweet included the word "thy" ... though, i'm not sure why that is important ... but i was having a really REALLY hard time typing "thy" while rocking my 2 year old to sleep, while pregnant and tweeting.

that part is possibly true.  because it is hard to type and rock ... but luckily my 5 year old (even in my dream) was sleeping already ... because ... seriously ... it was probably just the smartest thing to do in this case.

so i was having trouble tweeting.  so i put the 2 year old in her bed.  awake.  and she was crying.  maybe kind of sobbing.  and i could here a funny noise coming from her room.  but i had to write a blog post because my husband had informed me that the internets were complaining about the lack of bloggy material on my blog.  rumors were spreading about the coconutbelly family.  so he wanted me to post something (anything) so that the rumors would stop spreading.  (apparently all 7 readers were REALLY concerned.  thanks mom and friends.)

so ... anyway.  back to the dream ... i decided to read your blog instead of posting something.  and i came across a video you made inviting people to your book signing in minneapolis.  and you had a giveaway!  6 lucky winners were going to possibly win a chance to be the first six in line. 

and then i realized what the funny noise was in my daughter's room.  it was my cell phone.  which had apparently called my best friend when i sat on it and forgot it sitting on her floor.  and after i finally realized it and picked it up ... i saw that my best friend had spent the last 74.07 minutes attempting to garner my attention by shouting into her end. 

so i stopped to chat with her.  because that is what most normal people would do in the midst of trying to get children to sleep and read your blog and write their own blog post.

she, also getting ready to pop out another baby, told me about how they were getting their two dogs used to the idea of a second baby around the house.  they bought two statues.  one of their oldest child and a second one of a baby.  and she was convinced that all was going to go really well because the dogs were licking the statues. 

so i'm kinda listening to her tell me about the statues - because sorry sara ... but even in my dream i could tell that was a little screwy -  while listening to your blog post about how you were going to choose the winners. 

you had a cake.  sectioned into six pieces.  (it was chocolate in case you were wondering.  no frosting.)  and you held in one hand the cake slices.  in your other hand you held a conglomeration of toothpicks.  and everytime you picked up a piece of cake you said ... not one!  not two!  not three!  not four!  not five!  but six winners!  and each time you said one of the numbers, you one-handedly manuevered the toothpicks so that you could poke that number into the top of the cake.  you would wiggle your fingers until the toothpicks were in the shape of a 1! or 2! or 3! or 4! or 5! or 6!  and punch them in and pull them out.  and there would be a perfect number on top.

and you could totally tell the cake was done.  because there was never any cake remnants on the toothpicks.

and you told everyone that wanted to enter to send you three blank checks, signed and written out to you.  and then you would pick the winners and cash the checks to pay for their copy of the book.  smart business move, lady.

fast forward.  (because that's what happened in the dream.)

mall of america. 

i was one of the winners.  unfortunately @thesdcowgirl never made it.  because, apparently i never got past the "thy" in that tweet.

however ... i was the last winner.  and you had decided that the winners would really only get to pick one chapter of the book.  even though they sent 3 blank checks and paid for the entire book. 

because i was last ... i ended up with the sour cream chapter.  (someone else had already picked the chocolate chapter.  which i was really bummed about because it had the recipe for the sea salt topped chocolate truffle-ish things.)

and then ... i woke up.

because my two year old really did wake up yelling out in the middle of the night, "I NEED A BAND-AID."
and then my five year old really did wake up yelling out that she couldn't breathe.
and we made a 3:00 am emergency room visit.
don't worry.  she's fine.  just has a 103 degree temperature and is vomiting.  and was sent home after 6 hours at the ER.
and the two year old didn't really need a band-aid ... she was just having weird dreams too.

fun times.

just thought you should know that some crazy pregnant lady out there is having dreams about you. 


Thursday, October 22, 2009


caffeinated, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
jenni and jen are hosting a blissful benefit to welcome a new baby to a beautiful wonderful mama of two ... jen over at blissfully caffeinated ... who just so happened to be hospitalized and have a baby all within a few days.  and unfortunately the hospitalization initially didn't have anything to do with the baby.  but, that's her story to tell.

anyhoo.  they urged us to show our support by paying homage to jen's favorite beverage. 
(seriously ... could  i use another form of jennifer anymore in that paragraph?)

funny. coffee never meant much of anything to me until i came upon my second child.

i have always LOVED the smell of it. i used to open my mom's coffee jar and smell the beans.
i LOVED the fake taste of coffee in ice cream flavors. especially in a coffee chocolate milkshake.
walking through the grocery store aisle full of beans ... i LOVED looking at all of the options and flavors. the tiny beans spilling over one another.

i just didn't like coffee.

until lil' miss cora came along.

i more than LOVED coffee. i NEEDED coffee.

and not in the i-so-need-a-coffee-or-i'm-gonna-get-a-headache need for coffee.
more in the i LOVE sitting down with my real coffee cup in my hands.

it's the warmth. maybe?
or perhaps, it's the feeling that i'm actually getting to sit. for a minute.

but i think even more than either of those reasons ...
it's the friendship.

weird, huh?

there is just something that is so amazingly wonderful about sitting with friends that are mamas too and drinking a cup of coffee.  there's something about the inability to crazily chase around children while holding a cup of splashing hot liquid that forces you to slow down.

i miss this coffee with friends idea so much that i routinely text my best friend who also happens to be pregnant and say ... i just want to stop by and sip coffee with you while the girls destroy your playroom.
except she lives in utah. so it doesn't happen.

unfortunately, the first few weeks of this pregnancy, the mere thought of coffee kinda made me sick. i'm still not lovin' my morning coffee. but at this point ... it's a weakness. it's more the holding and the slowing down than the actual drinkage.

and i think my point is this ... (finally huh?)

savor that new baby the way that you savor your coffee. because it's so much more than just the getting it down to achieve caffination. having a new baby is so much more than just raising a child into an adult.

it's about enjoying each and every moment. even when those moments kind of suck, bigtime.
because those moments flee.

congratulations on your new baby girl. she is absolutely beautiful. and i'm so glad to see that you are feeling better.

thinking of you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

AND pulling out the hair ...

... the evolution of a picture ...

... first attempts ...

... mistakes and problems ...

... seriously? ... more problems.  and a PTA meeting that is starting in less than an hour.  damn cat.  my wedding shoes still fit!  and definitely up the sexy factor.  the shoes... not the cat.  but the rolled maternity jeans ... anyone have a few extra inches of height that you are willing to share?

nothing that a little editing ... ok ... maybe a lot bit of editing ... can help with.
sorry stella ... just this once that perfect little smile is just NOT gonna cut it.  going to go with the bored faced child this time around. 

... nothing like having a vision ... two children that are not totally excited about this venture that is going to take place after work/daycare/school ... a zoo-full of pets ... and an hour before the pta meeting ... to make you want to pull out that camera and attempt to fulfill the previously mentioned vision.

oh ... and did i mention the door-to-door guy that wanted to chat about bpa free bottles and sippy cups and the fact that mn was succesful in banning them or something or other.  so great that there are people out there that are so dedicated to making awesome things happen.  but when i come to the door in heels with a camera ... just note that you may have caught me at a bad time and move on?

thanks kelle.  i've always admired your feet with children pictures.  from here on out ... i will kiss the ground you walk on for being able to achieve those with so much more success than i had.

and on a related ... but not really related note ... i just figured out how to do layering with picnik!  look at this.  i think i'm in love.  (sorry honey.)

flowers are much easier participants in photo shoots.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

touching the heart ...

over at i {heart} faces this week ... we are playing it pink

when i first saw this upcoming challenge ... i thought ... no problem!  life with my girly-girls offers plenty of opportunity for pink-ish things. 

and then they noted that it was all in honor of breast cancer awareness month

and the mere thought of just putting something cute and pink up there didn't seem like such a perfect idea anymore.  and i let the thought of entering this week slip away into the recesses of my mind ...

until ... last wednesday ... when a good friend sent message that she had received a diagnosis of breast cancer

and it all hit so much closer to home.

so ... in honor of colleen and all of the women out there fighting this battle ... i enter, not for recognition ... but to show my support.  please realize that all of us, women and men ... are taking on this as a personal threat ... and we are determined to fight it ... courageously.  standing side by side.

and to the friends that don't feel affected by it right now ... do me a favor?  once a month.  that's all it takes. 

because having found a (thankfully) non-cancerous lump in my breast at the age of 18 ... going through the wait and eventually having it removed.  it's hard.  and scary.  but so much more do-able if you just do something about it ... right away.  and the most do-able part of it ... is having support systems in place.  and as the scar from the surgery has faded through the years ... i realize that i forget to be as vigilant about making sure that there aren't any more ... so, i'm reminding myself too. 

so ... do it for your kids.  or my kids.  or the neighbor.  or your husband.  or your mom and dad.  or the ups man.  for yourself, just maybe?.

just do it.  please.

Friday, October 16, 2009

and then ... what i'm not loving right now.

squeezing a few not loving moments as the girls are finishing up in the shower and i'm attempting to get dressed.  this may just well be a work in progress ...

i am SO. NOT. loving ...

the fact that stella most possibly has fifth disease ... which on it's own is a little rash, highly contagious ... treatable at home ... but is not-so-good for a pregnant mama.

which means that i have to go and have blood drawn to check my antibodies for fifth disease ... and i've been told i have hard-to-find veins.  i hate having hard to find veins ... is not my favorite thing.  it means i get multiple pokes.  i really dislike multiple pokes.

and that the nurse on the phone line which took 45 minutes to talk to ... said antibIodies ... which feels like an incorrect pronunciation of the word.  and she had a lateralized strident articulation pattern.

i don't love that cora has been crying all morning.  about things such as ... mommy saying that she can't put a diaper on a stuffed monkey ... or ... she can't eat cereal with milk on it in the living room ... or ... we all need to get in the shower ... oh ... and now i can add ... because she isn't going to the doctor's office with us ...

i don't love that husband is gone on a day like today ... when i really feel like there needs to be 5 of me.

i really wish that there was some chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups in it in my freezer right now.

that i just realized yesterday during a sorting adventure of our basement storage ... that the baby boy clothing that was so wonderfully handed down from good friends ... was from a baby born in late spring ... and consists mainly of summer-ish clothing.  and now i need to scour the world for baby boy clothes that don't make me nauseous.  (i don't like footballs either - i am going to be a crappy boy mama).

i don't like my hair.  especially the fact that my consistent go-to-hairstyle is a ponytail ... because i look dumb in a ponytail right now.

that there is one-more-day-of-fun at the farmer's market (or at least that's what the sign says) ... because honestly the last few weeks have sucked BIGTIME.  rain.  wind.  snow.  freezing ass cold weather.  not my idea of fun.

that snow is coming.  with much more consistency than was plopped down on us last week.  and we haven't even gotten an awesome display of fall color yet.

the fact that maternity pants are made for women 5'10" and taller ... and i have to roll those suckers like a student of the 80s in order to not get the bottoms of my pants wet in the never ending saga of puddles and snow. 

i need new bras.

i would like to eat ice cream and cookies for breakfast lunch and dinner ... but i'm pretty sure that's frowned upon while raising children because apparently there are more food groups that i'm missing and my children need to learn about all of the food groups.

i forgot to take out the recycling.  and why the hell do they come at dark o' thirty in the morning?  because my brain hasn't turned on yet at that time ... and i ALWAYS forget.

hmmm ... was that enough complaining for today?  must. stop. now.  so that i can actually accomplish a glass is half full attitude before 10 this morning. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

loving ...

just because i can ...
i'm squeezing in an itty-bitty post late into the evening. 

to update the (maybe?) seven of you out there that read these silly ramblings of mine ... on the very things that i can't help but love at this exact second in time ...

the dropping of a yittle-bankie amidst the carrying of my drooling little into her own bed ... which gave me the opportunity to bring her that little blankie and set it into her arms an hour or so later ... and moreso ... gave me a chance to gaze at her while she slept.

the later-than-i-would-have-allowed phone call from my biggest little ... telling me all about her night with grandma before settling into her bed at g-ma's house.  and just how little she actually sounds still.  mature.  but still little.  an important reminder that i needed desperately tonight.  because even old souls can reside in little bodies.  five years old ... is not that old.

homemade salsa.  mexican relish to be exact ... served with a hint-of-lime chip ... made from fresh garden tomatoes that most likely won't last another day ... knowing that frost and possibly even snow may be on mother nature's to do list this evening.

having two amazingly beautiful wonderful girly-girls that immediately place their palms upon my ever-growing belly as soon as i mention that a certain little baby boy blue just kicked.

late night conversations with the love of my life.  the i-love-yous that carry me through 'til he comes home.  wishing that he were here to feel the kicks too.  and maybe more thankful that he does get to come home tomorrow to do all of those things in person.

purring kitties that take every opportunity to jump upon my lap ... and sit quietly with me while i ponder the things in my life.  forcing me to sit there for just a minute longer than i maybe would have, if they didn't.

days off from work.  where i can sleep just a few minutes longer, enjoy a cup of coffee in a real mug, call my best(est) friend at ten in the morning, and watch my girly-girls interact and play ... in our home ... rather than in the backseat of the van rushing off to our morning locations.

that's so not everything ...
i just wanted to share a snippet.

and i would love to hear your loving snippets too ... what are you loving today?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

bummer dude.

"have you ever just wanted to ... i don't know ... just get away for awhile?"  mr. a inquired to his one-day-younger cousin, cora.
"i've thought about it," she replied.  "those big people are always reading books and telling stories about this big wide world.  like there is so much more out there.  so much more than ... this."
"yeah," he said, "have they told you about that big red dog ... what was his name?  oh yeah ... clifford.  wow.  it's dumbfounding knowing that there is stuff out there like a giant dog that carries his friends around on his back.  and they have us here ... looking for apples."
"no kidding," cora felt compelled to tell him more, "apples.  who do they think we are?  do they really think that this kind of thing is worth not napping over?  hell ... you can buy apples at the store.  why do they think we really care about trees with apples.  now money.  on trees.  or red furry monsters.  that would definitely be worth the 30 minute drive."
"what do you say ... we go for it," asked mr. a. 
cora inquired ... "you really think we can?  hold on ... i have an idea."

"hi mom!!  look at me!!  i'm super cute ... here's my apple and my silly face ..." 

while thinking, "ha.  gullible sucker.  i know you ... you're bound to take the camera off of me if a pose for just a minute."

"  3 ... 2 ... 1 ... see mr. a ... i told you ... look she's off taking pictures of flowers and stuff now ... that's all it takes ... ooo ... listen to her using her big words ... bokeh.  ooo ... look at her showing daddy the fall bokeh ... she's totally not paying attention to us anymore ... go for it!"

"RUN!  let's go and explore the world.  let's see what's out there!  there's no stopping us now!"

"oh ... crap.  bummer dude.  you dropped your apple.  your sustenance.  that apple was gonna get us all the way to clifford, man."

"just leave it.  it's no use to us now.  we can try again next time.  let's just go back to the big people. c'mon man.  you know what they say about yuck and dirty and stuff.  my dad will get you another one.  let's go back."

"hey man ... mind giving me a lift?  i lost my apple and i'm really feeling hungry ..."

"yum.  those big people are good for something, i guess.  the good apples are never at the bottom of the tree."

"yeah ... i agree.  they don't really compare to that big red dog or that elmo guy ... but these apples ARE pretty tasty."

"what do you say ... we stick around awhile?  they do have this cool wagon ... and at the very least, they do read the stories to us ... and you know ... in the end ... they do have more than apples to eat around here."
mr. a replied, "alright ... but next year ... next year ... we might just have to get out and see the world a little more."
"i'm so glad we have each other ... it's us against them ... how do you feel about hawaii? ... my big people mentioned something about dolphins and oceans last week ..." cora declared, "i totally threw a temper tantrum about wanting to go to hawaii in the middle of the doctor's office waiting room ... hilarious!  that sure threw the big people for a loop.  you should try it!  it's a blast!"