Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kids Say The Darndest Things - Part II

I'd like to make a post whining about how freaking much I can't stand the Olympics (aren't they over yet?!), but I thought I'd share some silly conversations I've had with my son since my post from January 5, 2010.

Bloggy McBloggerstein: What does a cow say?
Tater Tot: Dada
BMB: No, usually cows say something else. . .
TT: Dada! DADA!!

TT: Poo-poo.
BMB: Do you have to go poo-poo?
TT: Yes.
BMB: Would you like to go poo-poo on your potty?
TT: (shakes his head "no" and poops in his diaper) POO-POO!

TT: (Pointing at the word "addition") Poo-poo.
BMB: Actually that is the word "addition" and it means -
TT: Poo-poo! POO-POO!!

BMB: Son, where did you get the idea that we rub mashed potatoes in our hair?
TT: Dada.
BMB: I'm sure that your father did not tell you to do that.

TT: Tie-tie. (this means tired, or tiger)
BMB: Are you tired?
TT: Yes.
BMB: Let's take a nap.
TT: Mama.
BMB: Okay, Mama will take a nap too.
TT: Dada.
BMB: Daddy is at work, he can't take a nap.

Do you notice a theme to our conversations? This kid has started hollering whenever I disagree with what he says. My son isn't even two years old and I can't believe that he is already mouthy!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Made Two Posts Yesterday?

I think I'll take the day off since I apparently made two posts yesterday.

BTW, G4 channel is playing something right now called the International Sexy Ladies Show. It's a show consisting of clips from sexy shows around the globe. My hubby is picking up dinner and he is missing out. Hot damn, some of these shows are nearly soft core. Wild!

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Need a Bigger One Because Bigger is Better - Right?

When I put my camera in it's case, the case asks, "Is it in yet?"

Okay, not really, but that's how I feel after visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. The aquarium itself was nice enough, though I've been to more impressive aquariums (Monterrey is not to be missed!), but I have never seen such an orgy of hot cameras & sexy lenses in one place. It was like a photographers wet dream.

I know it isn't the top choice of professional photographers, but this novice has always liked her sweet little Canon Rebel XTi. I felt all puffed up while pulling out my much-loved camera outfitted with my new 55-250 lens (with image stabilization!) to take some photos. And then I noticed that my camera looked small and so inadequate compared to many other cameras at the aquarium today.

I'm afraid that my lens, which I loved so much before today, can't satisfy my need for awesome pictures any longer. And all because I have discovered that there are bigger lenses out there. Let's be honest here, doesn't bigger really mean better?

My lens would be considered a show-er, not a grower. It probably hangs a good five inches from the body of my camera, but it only grows by about two inches when I zoom in for a shot. I hear what you're thinking, seven inches of lens should be enough for a casual photographer to feel satisfied. But I'm afraid that it isn't now that I realize just how big they come.

Some lenses were so long that the lens had to be mounted to a tripod. The freaking lens was mounted on the tripod! Understand that usually one mounts the camera to a tripod. I guess the camera body would somehow break under the weight of such a behemoth? Perhaps a photographer is reading this and can weigh in on the reason? You know who you are. . .

Though I was experiencing camera & lens-envy, I took some totally fantastic shots today. I am particularly proud of my extreme close-ups of rays and hammerhead sharks. The photos look like something that the aquarium should use in their advertising materials. They really are that good. I really need to get my inner geek on and figure out how to put some samples up on this blog otherwise the readership may think that I'm all talk and no action.

Ah, my dreams will involve me handling a great big and oh so satisfying. . .lens tonight! Come on, you didn't really think I was going to say wiener, did you?!

How Did I Live Without This Product?

Every now and then you come across a truly awesome product. I have come across that product. I didn't find it on my own, but I finally have used it and I wonder how I lived without.

My son has been in cloth diapers part-time for much of his life. I never used them while we were out and about, but I did use them at home. Except overnight, he always rashes up if I try to keep him in cloth for a 12-hour stretch at night.

I switched him to cloth full-time a couple of weeks ago. He's wearing fluffy soft dipes (except overnight) whether we're home or not. I didn't really have a reason other than I'm sick of buying diapers that just end up thrown in the garbage and I think he may potty train faster if I keep him exclusively in cloth. I've already dealt with a couple of poopy diapers when we were away from the house (and my diaper sprayer!) and it really wasn't that bad. I've dealt with far worse. Remember, this kid puked like a geyser every 75 minutes or so until he was around nine months old. So yeah, I've dealt far nastier stuff than a clump of poop that rolled off the diaper and into a toilet.

I'm not a big fan of prefolds or flat diapers and I do not like the old-school pull-up/pull-down diaper covers. I've never used a diaper pin. My son has never exploded out of his cloth diapers (he never did out of disposables either, but I think that's because I typically bought premium diapers). My mother and my MIL think I have a stash with a fancy variety of diapers: all-in-ones (AIOs), pockets with velcro or snap closures, fitteds with velcro or snap closures, and an assortment of GREAT covers. I have a dozen prefolds too, but I don't see the point in using them when I can use much easier (and cuter) diapers.

I tend to keep things pretty simple with my diapers. I use a diaper sprayer to rinse the dipes. Thanks to the sprayer, I have never touched poop or put my hands in the toilet. I sprinkle a little baking soda in my dry pail every time I add a diaper. I don't know if it really helps control odors, but you'd never know that I have a pail full of stinky diapers if you walked in my house. I wash the diapers every other day. First I do a cold wash (no detergent) with two rinses, then I do a hot wash (1/4 cup of detergent + a Tb or so of Calgon water softener) with two rinses. Viola - that's it. Simple, right?

Well, I have added a step to my super-simple diaper routine. I had been reading about a product called Bac-Out and I was intrigued. It is supposed to control odors, prevent/remove stains, and (most importantly) it is safe for using on cloth diapers. This is important because a cloth diapering mama's biggest fear is ruining her stash. Some of these diapers can cost over $30 each and one can easily spend several hundred dollars on diapers for their little one(s). I'm sure that my husband is reading this and before he flips out, I should mention that my average diaper cost is more like $10 to $15. Not too bad considering that our next baby will use the same diapers and I'll be able to sell the used diapers after that kid is using the toilet.

But I digress. Bac-Out is simply amazing! It smells like limes which, for some crazy reason, makes me smile. I guess because it reminds me of summery drinks. My house never stunk from my diaper pail, but I always felt like I would be knocked off my feet when I lifted the lid to add a diaper because the ammonia smell was sooo strong. Not any more. It doesn't smell of pee (ammonia), poop, or anything stinky. It just smells like limes. LIMES! A pail full of dirty diapers smells like limes! If I didn't experience it, I would never in a million years believe it. I have no idea why I waited so long to try Bac-Out, but I wish I started using it ages ago.

I can't say if it prevents or removes stains because I have only had a couple of stains in my diapers. I treated those with my favorite 99 cent laundry stain remover, Soilove. It's hard to beat a product that costs only 99 cents for a pint (Soilove), but if I get any staining again, I'll see how the Bac-Out works.

I found Bac-Out in the laundry section at Sprouts (on sale right now), but I would guess that you might find it at any crunchy-granola sort of store like Henry's, Whole Foods, or Mothers. I'm so impressed with how well it controls odors that I would darn near recommend that you use it for cleaning if your house has odors from things like smoking, cooking, or pets. Of course, if you hate the smell of lime, you won't like this product. But if you do, try it out and let me know how you liked it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Hate Cleaning For Nothing

After putting it off as long as possible, I finally got off my lazy ass and cleaned my house this morning. I did it all: toilets, sinks, dusting, sweeping, mopping. I was a busy mama and I whipped this house into shape with my cleaning frenzy. Everything is put away and everything sparkles. It wasn't that I wanted to clean, I felt that I had to because I planned on having a couple of friends over this afternoon and I planned on having some friends and their kids over for a tasty meatloaf supper on Saturday.

You know what they say about the best-laid plans, right? Who are they anyway? And how do they always know what's going to happen?

I was getting ready to walk out the door at around 10:00 this morning when I noticed that my son had a runny nose. He didn't seem sick and his nasal drippings were thin and clear, but I did the right thing and notified our friends that he had a runny nose. Of course, no one wants to let their kids hang out with a potentially sick kid. I decided to fool around on the computer and received an e-mail from our dinner company for Saturday. They had to back out of our plans because their oldest woke up sick this morning.

I realize that I should just be pleased with a nice & clean house, but I feel like I did all that cleaning for nothing. Seriously. My husband doesn't care if the house is clean and I don't think he notices if I've slacked off the housework for a couple of weeks. Er, not that I would. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Messiness and clutter are distracting and put me on edge. It bothers me to see spots on the floor or to notice dust on a shelf. And don't get me started on dishes left in the sink or dirty clothes left on the floor! Even if no one gets to enjoy it, I have appreciated that the house has a much more calm and relaxing feel than it did before I began my mission. Of course, it will already begin falling apart by tomorrow morning and it will need cleaning all over again by Sunday. No matter how much you clean, you always end up cleaning again.

Oh, and my son's drippy nose stopped by noon. Hooray for not having a sick kid!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Scalped My Son

I graduated from cosmetology school around 15-years ago. Though I received and still maintain my state license, I never worked in the industry. The simple reason is that I don't like doing hair. No, that doesn't adequately convey my feelings. I freaking hate doing hair and I freaking hate standing on my feet all day.

Now that I'm a SAHM and I'm always looking for ways to save a few bucks, I decided that I should start to cut my son's hair. His haircuts cost just under $17. That doesn't sound like much, but it does add up when he gets a haircut every eight-weeks. I bought a clipper set for a little less than $25, took a deep breath, and decided to try to cut his hair myself.

I must mention that it has been nearly 15-years since I've even touched clippers. Even back then I was never good with them and I always preferred scissor cuts. However, my son does not sit still. I didn't want to pull a Van Gogh on him, so I figured that I'll have to give the clippers a chance.

My son wouldn't let me use the clippers in the back of his head, so I started with the front, top, and sides. From there I tapered around his ears. I had my husband hold our son's head and hands while I quickly took care of the back. I even had time to trim up his fuzzy neck before he freaked out. I was feeling pretty proud of my handiwork.

And then it happened. He moved and I didn't. I gouged a hole in his hair. I tried to feather it out, but he was furiously screaming and crying at this point. I trimmed his sideburns and called it a day. Of course, mistakes stand out the most and I cringe a little when I see that low spot. And that long spot. And that spot that needed to be blended a little more.

His hair was a bit shorter than I would have liked, but it looked okay to me last night. I did a double take when I went to get him this morning. My baby looked scalped! His hair is soooo short. It's so short that there is absolutely nothing to do to it. He looks like a little soldier (or Marine, or sailor, or airman) or something.

Don't get me wrong, I think my son is the most adorable thing on two legs. But damn his hair is short!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Please Don't Make Me Watch a Glorified Talent Show

There was a rumor going around that Howard Stern might replace Simon Cowell as a judge on American Idol. I don't know if there is any truth to the rumor, I actually suspect that it was just a publicity stunt from both camps, but I might actually choose to watch American Idol if Stern is a judge. It seems like a good fit to me: he's wickedly judgemental, he's refreshingly honest, he loves American Idol, he likes music, and he was a disc jockey before basically becoming a radio talk show host.

I kind of like the idea, but I'm in the minority. Apparently American Idol fans are frothing at the prospect and it sounds like the sky will rain frogs if Howard Stern is a judge. I don't quite get the vitriol, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. I would guess that the American Idol demographic (probably chicks or young kids) is definitely not Howard Stern's demographic (probably guys).

I am aware of American Idol, but I have never watched it. No, really. I haven't even watched a few minutes of it while waiting for another program to start. I'm not even sure I can say what network it's on, but I'll guess CBS, NBC, or ABC because they're the Big 3. Why haven't I watched it? Well, I don't care for talent shows and, though I like to sing karaoke, I sure as heck don't like listening to other people. Based on the commercial clips, I have never felt that I'm missing anything.

I don't live under a rock and I have heard plenty about the show. I have also had to endure clips that Howard Stern has played over the years. Frankly, it sounds pretty terrible. Crappy music and wimpy judges doesn't equal fun entertainment for me. Well, Simon doesn't sound wimpy and at least he actually has an opinion. You know, like a judge should sound. Frankly, he would have been the only reason that I may have watched. But people believe that he's "mean" because he's being honest about his opinion. An opinion that contestants are asking to hear.

And now I hear that they have Ellen DeGeneres as a judge. What?! Call me crazy, but how is she qualified to be the judge of a singing competition? Isn't she supposed to be a comedian, actress, or talk show host or something? I have to believe that the main demographic for American Idol is women because I don't see guys tuning in to hear what Ellen has to say about the contestants.

I have been a Howard Stern fan since 1994. I'm not a super-fan or anything, but I do enjoy listening to his show. We also try to catch the Killers of Comedy (filled with show regulars, staffers, and the occasional whack-packer) when they are in town. Heck, we kept the cable provider we have because they offer Howard TV on-demand. Hm, maybe we are super-fans? His show is 10 x better on Sirius. He actually gets A-list guests promoting their latest projects; Hugh Jackman's interview had me chuckling for days over his embarrassing Freudian slip. They have better bits now. And, most importantly, no freaking censorship. It's not a cuss-fest or a boob-fest, but there is always the possibility that it can happen because there is no dreaded kill button. Men of a certain age seem to be most interested in the Sybian, but it is truly a small part of the show. I'm a middle-aged suburban housewife & mother and it doesn't often prompt me to change the channel.

It seems that he would be something like a breath of fresh air for the show. It's been on for ages. They sound like they might be slipping in the ratings. The most compelling judge is leaving. This seems like a perfect time to bring a controversial judge on board.

But I'm not a network exec, so what the heck do I know. I mean, I never would have moved the number one late night host (Leno) to a show during prime time. I just don't have that mind for innovation I guess. (snark intended)

Honestly though, I do hope it is just a baseless rumor because I don't really want to start a relationship with another television show and I would want to check it out if Howard is judging. Please, network execs and Howard Stern, don't make me watch a glorified talent show.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mama + Migraine = Miserable

I felt poorly when I went to bed last night. My stomach hurt and I had the beginning of a headache. As is typical, I tossed and turned for about 90 minutes before falling asleep. I woke in the middle of the night and took a couple of aspirin. I woke this morning with a dull headache. I took a more aspirin and we started our very busy morning.

I felt pretty good by around 11:00 when we arrived at the mall to meetup with some friends. Then I smelled it. The offensive stink of cheap men's cologne was hanging in the air, assaulting me. My head exploded. I could feel my pulse beating by barely touching my temples. I continued pushing the stroller forward, willing the pain to abate. I sat down for a few minutes and chatted quietly with a friend and I felt a little better. We strolled the mall for a little more than an hour and, though my head pounded harder each time we passed a highly perfumed shop, it was so nice to visit with friends.

By the time I got home, the throbbing headache was back in full force. I reheated some leftovers for lunch and took a couple more aspirin. My son thankfully told me he was tired ("tie, tie") shortly after lunch and I seized the opportunity to rest. The light coming through the window bothered me, but I covered up my eyes and held my head. I ended up falling asleep for nearly two hours.

My husband asked me why I didn't take my migraine pills when I started feeling so terrible. I told him that I didn't think it was a migraine because I was able to go about my day. I've since wondered if I was wrong. Lights and smells bothered me - perhaps even triggering the headache. My head throbbed with a ferocious intensity. Bending over to pick something off the floor resulted in blinding pain. All I could think of doing is curling up on the bed and covering my eyes. Yeah, it does sound like a migraine.

I suffered with a week of migraine pain when my son was about six-weeks old. It was, quite possibly, the worst week of my life. I couldn't form sentences one morning. I lost the vision in one eye for nearly an entire day and my vision was not good in my other eye. I totally thought that I might have been stroking out. But, no, it was a migraine and it was miserable to this mama.

If I did have a migraine today, I'm impressed that I handled it so well and pleased that it went away so quickly. I'm also perplexed why I didn't get an aura as I usually do when a migraine hits. I guess all migraines don't necessarily have the same symptoms, but aura is usually my clue that it's coming and to get home and take some Midrin fast.

Whatever kind of headache it was, I'm just glad that it's gone.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Man's Man is Surprisingly Tender

You can hear his balls clank together when my husband enters a room. He doesn't manscape and he sports a chest that is full of very sexy and manly hair. He uses bar soap (Irish Spring, no less)and refuses to try bath gel. He doesn't wear cologne, preferring the scent of his Old Spice deodorant. He is polite in public, but he farts when the need strikes in private - even if his lovely wife is in his presence. He'll eat tofu if it is served, but he absolutely devours beef. He likes hoppy beer and icy-cold vodka. He knows how to hunt the smallish game that are found on the Great Plains and he can comfortably ride horses. He cusses, drinks, and likes shooting guns. He is the quintessential man's man and I'm so happy that I didn't end up with a metrosexual or a pushover.

My husband does not clean our house at all; no dusting, sweeping, or mopping for him. He also doesn't do any work in our restrooms besides using the squeegee on our clear glass doors after he uses the shower stall. He does not do our laundry, but he will gladly swap the clothes over upon request. He does not usually cook our meals - though he kindly cooks his own breakfast and a scrambled egg for Toot each day. I nursed our son until he was just over one year of age and our son wouldn't accept a bottle. As a consequence, my husband never woke once for a middle of the night feeding. I do not expect my husband to change diapers and I have very rarely asked him to do so when I used disposables. Now that I have transitioned fully to cloth diapers (save overnights), I certainly do not expect him to deal with diaper changes. I am a SAHM and I fully expect that those job duties are mine alone. I feel fortunate that he takes care of his own breakfast & his son's breakfast and that he'll swap laundry if I ask. Heck, I feel fortunate that I am his wife - period. My husband was quite a catch (in my book) and I love that he chose to be with me.

Perhaps some post-feminist readers are thinking that I have married a boorish pig. A relic from the past. I have never thought so (indeed, I have always felt quite fortunate to have such a wonderful catch!) and I do find that my husband is surprisingly tender. My husband was born in the 50s, but he came of age in the feminism-in-your-face 70s. He appreciates and encourages my opinions on topics as varied as our personal budget, child rearing, religion, and political philosophy.

He adores his son and has enjoyed many hours with our baby on his lap. They read books together, watch Sprout together, and play with toys together. My 53-year old husband will patiently play with our not-quite 2-year old son's stuffed animals until our son tires of the playtime.

This man's man is surprisingly tender with the son who he clearly adores. Our son asks for his beloved "dada" frequently throughout the day. My husband loves to spend time with our son and I heartily encourage it.

My husband is All-Man. But he is also a wonderful father. I love seeing my manly husband enjoy his role as a delightfully tender father.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm Finished!

Hooray! I have finally finished my baby clothes organization project! I have four Space Bags stacked on my coffee table: one extra large and three large. Four bags may not sound like much, but these bags are freaking huge. As a reference, these clothes filled over a dozen giant diaper boxes.

These four Space Bags hold 18-months worth of clothes that were worn by two little boys. I realize that no baby in history can possibly wear all of these clothes, but I loathe to throw away or give away anything that I may need in the future so I kept all of the clothes.

I have, however, decided to throw away all of the severely stained baby clothes. I used Soilove on the clothes that were mildly stained and have had great success. Soilove is found at 99cent Only Stores (we have them in CA, but I'm not sure about other states) and it is quite possibly the very best stain remover that I have ever used. I always make sure to have an adequate stock of Soilove on hand because my son is all boy. It removes nearly anything, even set stains that have been run through the dryer. It might take one or two treatments, but it does ultimately remove nearly any stain. I use it so frequently that I wish I could purchase it by the gallon.

My big project is complete and the clothes are able to be stored. It's cliche, but I feel as though a weight has been lifted from me. It feels wonderful to look at the fruits of my labor and I feel quite proud of my accomplishment.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Will the Laundry Ever End?!

UGH! Will the freaking baby laundry ever freaking end?! I have been running loads of baby clothes for nearly two days and I'm still not finished. UGH!

I've decided that I will not save any stained baby clothes. That's big for me because I like to save anything that I may need. Nevermind that I have enough clothing to outfit a tribe of children; I would be bothered if I simply through these clothes away so I will have to see if there are any charities who will accept stained clothing. Of course, I will not receive a tax deduction for these clothes and I am okay with that. I just would prefer that some finds use out of something that I have no use for.

I am almost finished and I am so happy about that. I hope to have all of these clothes, separated by age and season, in Space Bags by tomorrow night. Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Plethora of Baby Clothes

I have come to a conclusion after spending over eight hours laundering, sorting, and folding: I have a plethora of baby clothes.

I decided to keep my son's clothes because my husband and I want another child and I figure that the next kid can wear hand-me-downs so we can avoid unnecessary expenses. My husband has over fifty years of boys in the family and I do not anticipate having to deal with lacy ruffles and frills when we welcome a second child to the family. My son has always had tons of clothes and my sister regularly gives me the clothes that her youngest son outgrows. As a result, I have enough clothes to keep triplets fashionably dressed.

A friend of mine is moving and I promised that I would give her the boxes that I have been using to store these clothes so I had to find a new storage solution. I chose Space Bags. My house is completely tiled and I don't have a vacuum, but I thought Space Bags seemed like a great idea. And how!

I opened the kiddo's closet and grimaced. I had well over a dozen big boxes of clothes. I decided that I should check all clothes for any stains, rips, or tears. After that, I figured that it couldn't hurt to run them through the washer & dryer. Then I thought that I should organize the clothes by size and by season. After eight hours of work, I am still not finished.

I am stopping for the night and I will continue this project in the morning.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What a Day!

My father is significantly better today than he was yesterday. I left the hospital in tears yesterday because I truly feared for his life. I have never seen a human sport a grey complexion and live longer than a couple of days.

His color is much improved. A little pale, but much improved. His attitude is better and he seems to have more life today. I feel so encouraged by his progress and I pray for his continued healing.

My father is only 65-years old. He has six children. Seventeen grandchildren. He and my mother will celebrate their 29th anniversary this December; my sister and I were in their wedding ceremony. He is a reasonably young man and he is well-loved by his family. I know that God holds my father in His hands, but it is too soon for us to let him go. I ask all of you to pray for him. I believe that God hears our pleas; please pray for my father today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Been a Terrible Day

I spent the day at the hospital. My father was re-admitted last night. He'll be having additional surgery this evening. I don't really have anything to say other than I hope and pray that he'll be okay. I know that many of you are also praying on his behalf and I truly appreciate your care.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow Day!

We enjoyed a wonderful family day; a long overdue family day. My son spent Saturday afternoon splashing in his baby pool in our backyard and he spent the afternoon today playing in snow in the lovely Southern California mountains. Now that I think about it, we should have visited the beach and the desert at some point this weekend so the kidlet could have experienced a little of everything that So Cal has to offer.

It was nearly 80 degrees at our house today, but it was around 50 degrees in the mountains. I never felt the need to wear a coat or jacket, but I thought it prudent to outfit the kiddo in warm outerwear. He looked absolutely adorable stomping around in the snow while wearing his blue jeans and his bomber jacket.

We began our fun journey with a quick visit to Lake Arrowhead. I have never been and didn't know what to expect. It was crowded, tiny, and nothing like I imagined. I didn't mind that my son had actually drifted off to sleep (which he nearly never does in the car) because I had little interest in stopping.

We turned around and continued driving to Big Bear. I had never been there either and I had a blast. The architecture of the buildings was exactly what I pictured, the main strip was perfect. Big Bear Lake was significantly bigger than I expected though, particularly after seeing the diminutive Lake Arrowhead.

My son wasn't sure about the snow at first. He began to warm up to the snow when I demonstrated how fun it is to squeeze a handful. Once he realized that he could eat the snow, he was sold. My husband and I had so much fun watching him experience something totally brand new. I live for the moments that I see such joy in the eyes of my husband and my son.

My husband used to frequent our local mountains when he was married to his ex-wife, but he hadn't been back in around 15-years or so. We had so much fun today that I suspect he'll begin to frequent the mountains with this wife too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bored? Games!

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like to play games and those who do not.

I used to play games a lot. I like playing board games, cards, games with dice, dominoes. My husband, however, is not a fan. He'll tolerate games if a group is playing, but he's not interested in playing with me when we're by ourselves. Well, he doesn't want to play like that with me! We're very compatible in nearly every other way, so I'm not particularly bothered that we don't see eye to eye on this issue.

My favorite games are Scrabble, Taboo, and cards. Prior to the birth of our little one, we frequently socialized with friends to enjoy evenings filled with laughter, drinking, and games. I miss those evenings, but I still have solitaire when I get a few extra minutes.

When I was a kid, I liked Happy Days, Snoopy Come Home, Simon, Risk, and Generals. Monopoly, Clue, and Connect 4 were also well-liked and I still enjoy those games. I would guess that some of the games I spent so many hours playing aren't even remembered by the under-30 set.

My son will probably be old enough to play simple games in another year or so. Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, and Cootiebug aren't exactly what I'd choose for my entertainment, but I'm still looking forward to playing these games with my boy. Who knows? Maybe we can even convince Daddy to play with us.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Movie Night II

It's movie night again in the Brown household. We're watching Iron Man tonight. It's the last movie that we saw in a theater and I was 38 weeks pregnant at the time.

I prefer books, but I do love movies. I like all kinds of movies: comedies, action, sci-fi, adventure, classics, westerns, thrillers. You name the genre and I probably like at least one movie in it.

I try to watch one old movie per week. This week it was the classic film noir, The Postman Always Rings Twice, which I liked very much. It was somewhat predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless. My first choice was The Great Escape and I probably should have watched that one instead.

I've noticed that filmmakers have really developed a winning formula for superhero movies in the last several years. Iron Man is awesome. The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton is awesome. The Batman reboots are awesome.

Speaking of reboots, the new Star Trek is probably the most enjoyable movie I've watched in years. J. J. Abrams, though he appears to be obsessed with lens flare, totally revitalized the series and that young cast could have a solid acting gig for at least the next 30 or 40 years.

I'm missing my movie, so I'm going to abruptly end this post.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Love My MIL

I know a thing or two about lousy in-laws. I was regrettably married for a nearly one year and ten months before I pulled the trigger and filed for divorce. My ex-husband was bad enough, but my in-laws were the icing on the cake of my discontent. Sure, they all seemed nice enough in the beginning, but doesn't nearly everybody seem great when you first meet them? Jeez, even Ted Bundy was described as cultured and charming.

I think I have the best mother-in-law on the planet now that I'm married to my husband. She has always been warm and inviting. She probably has the right to act like a snob, but she is very down to earth. Though she is highly educated, she has never made me feel self-conscious that I lack even a simple AA.

She hung out at the hospital with me while I waited eight hours for my c-section. She offered to have us stay at her house when we brought the baby home. She came over often in those hectic early days so that I might have the opportunity to take a nap.

She writes a special note to each of her sons and daughters-in-law every Christmas. Have I mentioned that my MIL is an excellent writer? I always look forward to receiving her notes.

She wrote me a lovely e-mail in response to my post about my husband's birthday. She ended her message by saying that she loves me and she's happy I'm part of the family. I am too.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vaccines and Autism

WARNING - WARNING - WARNING: This post is about a controversial subject (vaccines) and it contains strong language with some profanity. If you are offended by any of this, you should stop reading now.

I'm not terribly crunchy, but I do have some granola tendencies.

I breastfed my son for over a year. The only reason I stopped is because my husband patiently waited long enough to have my boobies back and my son seemed willing to wean. I cloth diaper part-time. I still use 'sposies part-time because my son rashes up if left in cloth overnight and I'm not willing to hassle with a wet bag containing piss- and/or shit-filled diapers when we're out & about. I haven't used a single paper towel since the new year began because I use little microfiber towels to wipe up messes and throw them in with the laundry that I wash each night. I even stopped using my Swiffer Wet because I bought a (reusable) steam mop.

I'm not some sort of antiperspirant eschewing, furry legged, organic eating hippie either. I will only use antiperspirant containing aluminum because it's the only kind that actually stops the sweat. I shave my legs because, well, because I think my husband prefers it. Otherwise, I might be furry legged. I do not go out of my way to purchase organic food, but I am happy to grow my own veggies in my own garden. If necessary, yes, I will use pesticides and I don't worry about them in the least.

There is one area in which I am decidedly in favor of modern invention: vaccinations.

Prior to Dr. Salk's miraculous invention in 1954, the only way we were able to create immunity was through suffering a bout with a dangerous illness. Those who survived the illness gained an immunity to the disease. Thanks to modern medicine, we no longer have to suffer through potentially deadly illnesses to gain our immunity.

I realize that a certain former Playmate has been intently planting seeds of doubt in the minds of parents across the country in recent years. Dr. McCarthy asserts that the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) caused her son's autism. . .which she then cured with a wheat-free and dairy-free diet. Um, okay. Assuming for just a moment that any of this is true, who cares if a kid has autism since it can apparently be easily cured, or at least managed, by diet alone? Of course, science does not back up her anecdotal claims.

The medical journal, The Lancet, first published a study suggesting a link (Note: this does not mean a causal relationship exists!) between autism and the MMR vaccine back in 1998. The Lancet has since issued a full retraction of the paper, noting that claims made by the researchers were "false." Ten of the thirteen authors of that study have also formally issued retractions.

It is well-known to anyone who will take a little time to conduct some research that this study relied on incredibly flawed methodology. They cherry-picked their subjects, they outright falsified data, and, most disturbingly, they subjected children to invasive procedures simply to experience the joy of experimentation rather than for clinical purposes. Words truly can not convey the contempt I have for these individuals.

The British physician who was the lead researcher in that study, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, has subsequently been stripped of his medical license. But don't worry, he's since emigrated from the UK and he now lives and works in the US. Thankfully, the sadist is not licensed to practice medicine in the US.

Typically, the biggest risks from getting a vaccine is fever, soreness at the injection site (duh!), and an occasional rash. The biggest risks from not getting vaccines? Suffering through a serious illness, being responsible for spreading contagious illnesses throughout society, possible disfigurement, and possible death. Autism has not been scientifically proven to be a risk associated with vaccination. Sure, anecdotal evidence abounds. But anecdotes are not science.

The benefits outweigh the risks, but people are always going to be afraid of that which they do not understand. Many people have an adversarial attitude toward modern medicine, preferring to rely upon the old-ways or on outright placebos. And that's fine by me. But choosing not to vaccinate puts the herd at risk, potentially putting my own family at risk, and that's not fine by me.

I'm open minded and always willing to change my opinion if I'm proven wrong. I respectfully challenge anyone who believes that there is a relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism to produce a link to a study that demonstrates the relationship. I'll happily research it and create another post.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Owe My Happiness to My In-Laws

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday. Fifty-three years ago today, my beloved mother-in-law was preparing to give birth to her first child. She wasn't even 25-years old when she first held her darling, precious baby boy.

The love that a mother has for her son is far different than the love a wife has for her husband. As much as I love my husband, and I love him dearly, the love I have for him doesn't compare to the love she has for him. A mother has a primal connection to her children. My husband is number one in my heart because our marriage relationship must take first priority for the sake of our children, but my husband is not the flesh of my flesh.

My in-laws have been married for over 55 years. I would guess that they had every reason to expect that my husband would remain happily married to the wife of his youth. I can't imagine how painful it was for my in-laws to see my husband in an unhappy marriage, in unhappy relationships. I'm sure that they are quite pleased to see their son so happily married with an adorable little boy of his own.

I am thankful that my in-laws chose to have children. I'm thankful that God gave them my husband. I am so very thankful that they raised him to be a faithful and good man with a strong work ethic.

I adore being my husband's wife. I love being the mother of his child. I owe my happiness to my in-laws.

Fifty-three years ago, my mother-in-law was holding her sweet newborn on the day of his birth. Tomorrow I'll hold my wonderful husband on his 53rd birthday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Is That a Thumb in My Bowl?

Home surgery made simple! I decided to attempt an at-home digit amputation after receiving the first book in the Time Life Home Surgery series. Well, maybe that's not exactly true. Is a thumb considered a digit?

I believe that I could split the atom with most of my knives. Why did I choose to use the dullest knife I own to chop vegetables? I adore sharp knives, but this particular knife is my absolute favorite to use. Of course, that probably explains why it no longer boasts a super-sharp edge.

Why was I bothering to cook in the first place? It was about an hour before my son's dinnertime. I had the energy, I had the ingredients, I felt compelled to make a tasty meal for my boy. And I knew I'd suffer guilt if I didn't prepare a meal.

Why would I feel guilty if I didn't cook? Because I'm a SAHM. If I worked for wages, I'd easily give myself a pass to serve up greasy fast food fare in place of home cookin'. I'd feed the kiddo frozen meals, canned pastas, and chicken nuggets all the time and I wouldn't think twice about it. I'm not saying that he doesn't sometimes eat those things, because he does, but they certainly aren't the mainstays of his diet.

Why was a nutritious meal so important tonight? Because he enjoyed a Valentine party at his pre-pre-school this morning. I wanted to make sure that he had a healthy and delicious meal for supper since he gorged on sweet junk earlier.

I thought about opening a can of ravioli after I tried to cut off my thumb. But I couldn't bring myself to serve up a supper without a single vegetable. So I dealt with my injury, washed my knife & cutting board, and continued the meal prep.

What tasty fare did I whip up? I made a quick pasta sauce with tomatoes, cremini mushrooms, onions, zucchini, eggplant, and garlic. I served it over whole wheat penne. I thought it tasted fantastic and the kiddo eagerly gobbled it up.

I'm not glad that I cut my thumb. Actually, I feel incredibly silly that I made such a rookie mistake. But I am glad that my guilt motivated me tonight because my son loved what I served.

I used to live for an atta-girl from my boss. Now I live for seeing my husband and my son enjoy every last morsel of food that I've prepared. It's one way I measure how well I perform my job as a SAHM.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Is There Such a Thing As Too Much Sleep?

My son wasn't always a good sleeper.

He has always been a light sleeper and wakes easily; I don't think he'd be able to sleep a wink if we didn't have a sound machine running all night in his room. He used to nurse every 1 1/2 hours for the first five months of his life. He absolutely could not nap alone in his own bed until he was around nine months old; he slept on my chest for every nap or he didn't nap at all. I can count on my fingers the amount of times that he has fallen asleep in the car.

He has become a super-sleeper.

He typically goes to bed at 7:00 pm and wakes at 7:00 am. He has been sleeping these twelve-hours for well over a year. He has only recently dropped his morning nap, but he'll still take a three hour nap in the afternoon.

Lately his sleeping habits have changed. He'll sleep anywhere from 13- to 15-hours each night. His three hour nap sometimes lasts for four hours. I appreciate the quiet, but all this sleeping makes me miss my little guy.

I know a lot of parents who struggle with sleep problems and, goodness knows, I've been there, but I'm starting to wonder if I should try to limit his sleep. How much sleep is too much sleep? Is there such a thing?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good for the Saints

I wasn't very interested in the Superbowl this year because I don't care about the Colts and I don't care about the Saints. I root for the Lions every Thanksgiving day, but I can't recall the last time they've won. I've spent the last 22 years rooting for the 49ers and the Chiefs. Yeah, it's been a rough decade for me. . .

I guess that I would have preferred the Saints take the ring because they have never had the distinction. They certainly earned it righteously today. I truly enjoyed the game tonight - and not just because my son napped through most of it!

Talk about some exciting plays! Watching The Who embarrass themselves in their geriatric rocker glory on live television must have lit a fire under the Saints offense. The on-side kick was a total surprise that resulted in the TD that turned the tide. A two point conversion in the big game! Now that's some good football!

A friend said that she was rooting for the Saints because she always roots for the underdog. I replied the the underdog is still just a dog. I'm eating my words tonight. The Saints aren't dogs, they are the Kings of the NFL.

So when are the Lions going to make it?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Movie Night

It's movie night in the Brown household. We haven't actually seen a movie in a theater since early-May 2008. We saw Iron Man when I was 38-weeks pregnant. I hoped desperately that the noise would force my sweet baby to flip out of breech position. No such luck. I delivered via c-section a week later.

Pulp Fiction is one of my husband's all-time favorite movies and he likes Tarantino movies in general. I'm not much of a Tarantino fan, but I did find Jackie Brown and Kill Bill Vol. I to be quite enjoyable. I didn't particularly like Kill Bill Vol. II because I had kind of hoped that Bride and Bill would end up living happily ever after.

We're watching Inglorious Basterds tonight. Communists and socialists are among the worst people that this planet has ever seen. I love watching Nazi scum get their comeuppance. This movie is quite enjoyable thus far. I'm going back to the movie now. Don't tell me how it ends. :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Might be a Convert

WARNING - WARNING - WARNING: After taking a day off, I'm back to what has become my regularly scheduled postings about Aunt Flo. If you haven't been following my vagina's adventures with the Diva Cup, you should probably stop reading right now. I do believe this will be my last post in the series chronicling the battle.

I might have to rethink my desires about the birth of my next child. I think I would like a completely drug-free vaginal birth. I've thought about it so much that it is quite romanticized in my mind. The joy of letting my body take the lead in a natural delivery. The pleasure of allowing my newborn to suckle colostrum right after being welcomed into the world. The happiness I would feel if I can avoid another surgical delivery. Since I was denied my desires when my son was born, I imagine that a drug-free birth would be the very best experience I could ever hope to have.

But if I can hardly handle a 1" diameter silicone cup, how in the heck will I manage a head with a circumference of 14-centimeters? And I don't even know if that's considered a big head or not! For all I know, that might be considered tiny.

I'm on Day 4 with the Diva Cup. I wouldn't say that I love it, but I've definitely warmed up to it a little. I even forgot that I was on my period today. Insertion and removal aren't exactly easy, but they are easier than they were on Day 1. I think I'm figuring out which techniques I like best.

I smugly walked by the feminine aisle in the drugstore today. I got really excited when I realized that the Diva Cup will have paid for itself if I can manage to use it for five cycles. I love that I haven't had to frantically search for tampons this month. I have particularly enjoyed not having to fuss with my period at all with all the hours I've spent at the hospital these last few days.

I can't recommend this product to everyone because some women might be a little squeamish about how it's used. But if you can handle your own vagina and you hate throwing money away each month, this might be something you should consider. The Diva Cup - I'm not completely a fan yet, but I'm getting there.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 2 with the Diva

WARNING - WARNING - WARNING: This post is about as gross as yesterday's. See my disclaimer at the beginning of yesterday's post and decide if you're really prepared to continue reading. And, for pete's sake, if you are my brother, please stop reading now. I mean it, you big weirdo!

I think I have a tiny vaginey. I told you to quit reading, Big Brother!

Anyway, I'd love to claim authorship for that adorable-sounding turn of phrase, but the credit goes entirely to a crunchy mama friend. I broached the subject of Diva Cups while our little ones played at the park this morning. Yes, yes, I know that I'm a great conversationalist!

But really, who else would I be able to talk to about the Diva Cup? Crunchy mamas are the perfect choice because, between CDing and BFing, dealing with body functions in general don't bother them. Besides, I already knew that she uses the Diva and it was a good time to seek advice.

I explained the battle that has been on-going between my vadge and the Diva Cup. So far the Cup is winning, but only because I'm the muscle backing the Diva and my arms are much stronger than my vadge. At least, I'm assuming they are or my husband better keep a close watch on his wiener the next time we do some baby-dancing.

I bemoaned how difficult it is to insert and how exhausting it is to remove the damn thing. I explained the different ways I've folded it and the different ways I've attempted removal. It's painful no matter what I do and I think I've come to the conclusion that my Diva Cup is just too freaking big. She said, "You have a tiny vaginey." and I have to agree at this point. I always knew there was something my husband found absolutely irresistible about me!

I was given a choice between two sizes when ordering my Diva Cup. Size 1 is for the under-30 set who have never had children. Size 2 is for the over-30 set and women who have had children. Since I'm 29 (cough, cough) and I have had a child, I chose Size 2. It occurs to me now that, when given a choice between a large-sized vaginal product and a small-sized vaginal product, I always choose the smaller size.

On the plus side, I was finally able to get my Cup to spin tonight. I was so excited by this new development that I bent over, trying to see what was going on up there, but was unable to make visual identification. Of course, my vagina took advantage of my distraction and pulled the Cup further up so fast that I lost my hold on the stem. I want my vagina to have a victory, so I have decided to leave it alone for the rest of the evening.

Even with all the hassles, I'm not ready to give up on the Diva Cup. It's true that my downstairs aches and throbs after I've been fishing around in Aunt Flo's cozy cottage, but I suspect that even porn stars and chronic masturbators (two things I am not) would have trouble with this thing on the very first cycle. I'm willing to believe that this is just a very steep learning curve and that perhaps one day I'll find a way to manage insertion and removal without feeling like I've been violated. Please let tomorrow be that day!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'll Try Anything Once

WARNING - WARNING - WARNING: If you are of the male persuasion, this is not a post that you will want to read. Heck, most females I know are probably too squeamish to handle this one. This is not a post for those who are uncomfortable with frank descriptions of female anatomy, bodily functions, or profanity. I may have lost my entire readership after that disclaimer. In case there are still a few of you left, this post is a real doozy for you brave souls to digest.

I know this will not come as a surprise to any of you who are still reading this, but I have had things in my vagina from time to time. Not weird things, you freaks, normal things that might end up in a vagina. I'm not a virgin, so I've had a wiener in my hoo-haw. My doctor ruthlessly crams a speculum and his ham hands up there each year for a pelvic exam. I have used tampons for nearly the entire time that I've had periods - over 20 years. But I have something very strange in my vagina right now.

It started innocently enough. I was reading a message board and several members of this group were touting the awesomeness of menstrual cups. I'd first heard of reusable menstrual cups over 15-years ago when I was reading The Tightwad Gazette. The thought of using a little cup to hold your period drippings (and the subsequent washing of it) didn't appeal to me and I disregarded the idea as some kind of hippie horseshit. But within a couple of years, a friend gave me a box of Instead disposable menstrual cups that she didn't plan to use.

I'll try nearly anything once and I'm not afraid of my vagina, so I gamely used one of these Insteads on my next cycle. Insertion was remarkably easy and it was so comfortable that I nearly forgot that it was even in there. I thought these things were great. I was sold - no more tampons for me! Until it came time to remove and discard the cup.

Hooking my finger on the ridge of the cup was easy enough and I naively thought it was smooth sailing from that point on. Imagine my horror when this slimy little cup slipped out of my hand as I was about to dump an entire days-worth of blood. It looked like I had just killed someone in my bathroom. To make matters much, much worse - the bathroom was carpeted. Even worse than that? It was a light-champagne colored carpet.

I spent what seemed like forever cleaning up the scene of the crime. I muttered darkly about menstrual cups in general and vowed to never touch one of the slippery little sons-of-bitches again.

That was then. For several reasons, menstrual cups appeal more to me now than they did in my youth. I go through a box of tampons every month and the cost seems to increase with every freaking cycle. Seriously, is a little box of rolled cotton really worth more than $6? I guess it is because that's what I've been paying each month. And that's assuming that I can even find the ones that I use, which is often not the case. I can assure you that hunting the drugstore for tampons when you can tell that your pretty panties are getting destroyed is an impossibly frustrating feeling. I use tampons that don't have an applicator, so I'm already pretty comfortable having to put my fingers in my vadge while OTR. And, dang, those women on the message board made reusable menstrual cups sound so perfectly easy to use. Really, I'm a cheap little broad and the potential cost savings was reason enough to give menstrual cups another try.

So I began researching the dark & mysterious world of menstrual cups. You have two choices right off the bat: reusable or disposable. I decided to buy one of each. I know that using disposable cups would wipe out any potential cost savings, but I thought I'd give the Instead cup another shot anyway. There are many different varieties of reusable cups and I chose the Diva Cup because it seemed like the popular choice. I bought both on-line and even scored free shipping. Woo-hoo, I was feeling pretty happy with my decision.

Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to change the shipping address, so the boxes ended up going to my husband's office. Ooops! He rolled his eyes when he handed me the box and sneered, "Your Diva Cup arrived at my office today."

Now, you'll have to bear with my fuzzy logic here, but part of me felt that I'd be guaranteed a pregnancy because I had just spent a lot of money on menstrual supplies. That wasn't the case (duh!) and my Aunt Flo made her monthly visit yesterday. I purposely didn't restock my tampons last month and I had only two choices: Run to the store with my panties stuffed with toilet paper and hunt for tampons or try a cup. I decided to try a cup.

The Instead cups are sort of like a diaphragm, small & flexible. The Diva Cup is ridiculously long and somewhat rigid. Seriously, it's a couple of inches long and, even all folded up for insertion, it is waaaay the heck bigger than any tampon I've ever used. I chickened out and grabbed an Instead. Just as a remembered, it was easy to insert and I couldn't even tell it was there. I even handled removal, emptying, and disposal like an old-pro. But, if I wanted to try to save some cash, I'd have to try the Diva Cup.

I took a warm shower to relax. Had my husband been home, I would have had a drink. I felt very intimidated by the Diva Cup. I realize that I've had much bigger things in my vadge, but it's usually after making out for a little bit. This stupid Cup wasn't even taking me out to dinner!

I couldn't even get it in at first. I had to try a few different ways to fold this beast before I could even get it in beyond my opening. I started pushing it in. And then it stopped. I kept trying to push it in further and it wouldn't budge. I wondered if it was possible to get it stuck. I tried to squeeze my fingers by to see if I could tell what the roadblock was, but there was no way I could feel that far without hooking my knees behind my ears. I was sweating at this point and wondered if I was making a huge mistake. I ultimately decided the positioning must be correct because there was nowhere else for it to go.

How'd I like it? I didn't. I have never suffered from cramps in my life, but holy smokes, this thing made my lady parts ache. I periodically (heh!) would check it to see if it had somehow moved. Nope, it was wedged up there pretty good. I went to bed, thinking that I'd have to find a way to deal with it in the morning.

I dreaded dealing with this thing this morning. What if I couldn't get it out? Would my husband be willing to pull the plug, so to speak? How would I explain this to the ER staff? Just when I started to really freak myself out, I flung the covers back and stomped into the bathroom to deal with the damned thing.

I sat on the toilet, doing the Larry Craig wide-stance. I took a deep breath and began my fishing expedition in the tight confines of Menstrual Lake. This cup has a handy little stem, which made finding it much easier than I anticipated. Removal was more painful than I expected, but it wasn't horrible. I pulled it out and emptied it in the toilet without even having to look at the contents. I felt so smart for my forethought.

And then I was left holding a bloodied cup in my hand. Remember, the Diva Cup is reusable. It lasts for a year. . .perhaps longer. But you're supposed to wash the cup prior to reinsertion. How was I supposed to clean this thing without dripping blood all over my bathroom floor? The idea of not washing it skeeved me out, so I decided on pulling the junior high move of stuffing toilet paper in my pants while walking to my sink to wash the cup.

Afterward, I folded it the way I had last night and insertion was much easier. It just doesn't seem like it's high enough up there. One other thing has been bothering me; you are supposed to spin this cup around while it's inside. Something about making sure that it's sealed. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have room for it to spin. It's like my vagina has it in a death-grip or something. I've tried several times and it just won't work. I'm going to have to guess that all of this is normal for my body.

I've worn the Diva Cup for nearly 24-hours. I can't say that I'd recommend it to anyone at this point, but I understand that there can be a learning curve of sorts. For right now, this Diva's Cup is for Aunt Flo. If things don't get easier by the end of this cycle, I think I'll be hunting tampons again.

Monday, February 1, 2010

One Month Down

I started this blog on January 1st as a way to kill some time while my husband and son were out of the house. I had no idea just how much I would come to enjoy letting the words flow.

I've touched topics ranging from the very serious to the impossibly inane. The posts about tragedy seem unpopular. I would guess that this is because life has enough sadness and no one likes getting bummed out. Some of the posts about intensely personal matters are hits, but others are misses. The hope-filled ones and the funny ones are the ones that the readership appears to like the most. I can't promise much in the way of humor because I'm just not that funny. But I am eternally optimistic and you can bet that you'll be reading more in this blog about my cheerful hope.

I'm toying with the idea of expanding the content I post about. I may begin to include recipes I've come up with, handy time-savers I've found, and money saving ideas I've learned. Though most of my readers probably don't care about politics, I may occasionally editorialize about the issues of the day.

I have been publishing a post per day and I'd like to continue that trend through the remainder of 2010. I can't guarantee that I'll keep that commitment, but I will surely try my best. As I say in my bio, I enjoy writing this blog and I hope you enjoy reading it!

Here's to eleven more months of musings from MrsHashBrown!