Monday, January 31, 2011

Understatement of the Century

"It cannot be overemphasized that, as stated by Dr. Parmelee, 'Parents are never truly prepared for the degree to which the babies' sleep/wake patterns will dominate and completely disrupt their daily activities.'"

-from "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child", by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.

(This book has actually been a great resource for troubleshooting baby sleep problems... for anyone who cares.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stuck Inside

Here is a link to a list of ideas for entertaining children (scroll to the bottom of the page for the complete list). This is from a radio show called "Everything Creative" on the Mormon Channel, that focused on creativity in motherhood. Here are some ideas that sounded cool (and don't require venturing out into the cold):
  • Make sugar cookies and instead of frosting the cookies, dye portions of a can of evaporated milk and let your kids paint the cookies before you put them in the oven.
  • Put all your broken crayons in muffin tins and bake them at 150 degrees for 15-20 minutes or so (until they melt together solid), to make new crayons. You don’t have to grease the pan, they should come out once they have cooled.
  • Put some pudding or shaving cream in a cookie sheet and let your kids draw pictures with their fingers.
  • Play in cornstarch or flour with measuring cups, sifters, etc.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Laugh for Your Day

If it's cold, grey, and cloudy where you live (and I'm pretty sure that's most everywhere right now), here's a funny article to beat those wintertime blechs. This one had me laughing for days after.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Amish Adoption Program

A couple of months ago, I was the recipient of a starter for Amish Friendship Bread. For those who don't know what this is, in the cooking world a bread starter is the equivalent of a chain letter. A "friend" gives you a small amount of dough kept in a Ziploc bag that you tend for 10 days. This involves "mushing" it every day, letting excess air out, and adding ingredients when instructed. Just as you have gotten it to sleep through the night, it is time to make the bread. You are then left with four starts of your own (intended to pass onto four of your own unsuspecting friends). You could repeat this cycle the rest of your life if you keep a starter for yourself. If you don't participate, you will be cursed.
When my mom offered me this starter, I declined. Tending bread dough did not seem like something I could manage along with a new baby. When my husband sampled some of the bread, he eagerly accepted a starter, promising he would feed it, walk it, and bake it on the designated day. I don't have to tell you who ended up caring for and baking the bread.
The bread was quite tasty, and I actually repeated the cycle several times. Here are the take-away lessons I learned from my time tending the little starts: 1.) The only thing Amish about this bread, is that you have to mix it by hand with a wooden spoon, as you are instructed quite clearly, that under no circumstances shall this dough be mixed in a metal bowl or with a metal spoon. (Otherwise, it will explode).  I highly doubt the Amish use instant pudding mix or Ziploc bags, as called for in the recipe. 2.) Usually food left on the counter for 10 days spoils to the point of being poisonous to ingest. This is not true for the Amish. It must be how you preserve food if you can't use a refrigerator. 3.)  Baker be warned: Amish Friendship bread does not increase your popularity, as the name suggests. In fact, it does quite the opposite. When most friends find out you have a start, they want nothing to do with you. They might even skip town to avoid the commitment that a starter demands. Why? Because, for some strange reason, starters can not be thrown away without producing large amounts of guilt in the recipient. The minute it makes a home on your counter and looks up lovingly into your eyes, you feel committed to it. You must do everything- including starting a college fund- to allow it to achieve its fullest potential. When you run out of friends to burden, you might even consider dropping starts on neighbor's doors in the dead of the night...
I am now starter free, and my counter has never felt emptier. But, I know up in a little community in Pennsylvania, little starts are being produced every day by the Amish to dispense into the world (the recipe states that only the Amish know how to make the starts). One day, I am bound to cross paths with a friend looking for a good home to raise one of her starters. When that happens, I'm pretty sure I'll be out-of-town.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm a Mormon

After seeing the "I'm a Mormon" commercials on my T.V. a while ago, I decided to visit the site and see what it was all about. I love watching the "I'm a Mormon" videos. It is so fun to see how different people are, who share the same religion and beliefs. I find them to also be very inspiring. Here are a few of my favorites:

Jenny Hess (you'll need tissues)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Hairs of Care"

For the past 6 weeks, I have been shedding like a dog. No, make that 6 dogs. This is a postpartum reaction that also occurred with my firstborn. I have lost so much hair, in fact, that my hairline has thinned significantly. And while it's not pretty, what I look forward to most is in 5 months the regrowth looking like I am a victim of an I-Think-I'll-Cut-My-Own-Bangs tragedy.
As I was blowdrying my hair today, I was thinking about "Locks of Love", and determining that I would probably never grow my hair to the length required to cut off 10" and still be satisfied with the what was left. And then I was struck with inspiration!
If I were to collect all of the hair that is scattered throughout my house (from the bathroom floor after I've blowdried, to the shower wall, to my hairbrush, to my baby's fists, to every single hair that I find clinging to my sleeves throughout the day) and organized, combed, and shampooed it... I'm pretty confident I would be able to donate enough hair for a wig within a week. I could call it: "Hairs of Care"!
This new purpose in my life will most certainly replace my feelings of panic with pride, the next time I pull out a handful of hair in the shower.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk to wise;

If you can dream- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think- and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And- which is more- you'll be a Man, my son!

- Rudyard Kipling

Monday, January 3, 2011

Front to Back

One of the most common diapering instructions given to new parents, is to wipe their baby's bum from front to back. The idea is that by wiping front to back, you will not be wiping bacteria up into the urethra which in turn will cause a urinary tract infection. Can anyone explain to me why this matters, when upon opening a poopy diaper you find that every nook and cranny has already been coated?