Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Freestyle

Seriously....I can't decide if this week flew by...or if it was the longest week of my life. I think my problem is that I can't even remember last Friday. I was too busy worrying over a sick Sugar Bear. We are both on the mend. I am feeling better, but Sugar's poor little system is still trying to regulate. The seasonal fear of germs has official begun for me. It is this time of year that I annoy everyone I know, but NOT allowing Sugar to be around anyone that I know is sick. I'm sorry....but being sick sucks, and I will not purposely expose my child to that. UGH! I just don't understand why there has to be so many awful sick germs out there. NO FUN!

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As you can see, I am working on some holiday spirit. How do you like my new banner? So far my house has not a holly or a jolly but my blog is feeling a little festive. Yours can too.



Not only will you start spreading the Holiday Cheer, you have a chance to win some prizes. Who doesn't love that????? :)

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I have BIG news......HUGE news! I will be gone.....allllllllllllllllll week! eeekkkkk! I am leaving Sunday for a Business Trip. I am pretty excited to be traveling to a city in which I have never been, and equally excited to have my new toy to play with while I am there. tee hee... Sugar will be staying with my parents. She will be having a blast. I am going to miss her like a crazy fool, but I'll call her three times a day, and get my baby talk fix.

Anyhow, I toyed with the idea of being totally MIA, but I just can't do that to you. I know you would miss me too much, so I have enlisted the help of my friend Megan, in helping me post while I am gone. As far as I know, I will be completely away from any sort of computer all week. EEEEKKKKKK believe you me, I am more than a tad scared to come back to my google reader. My only hope is that it will be the first week AFTER NABLOMO HO HO HO....so many bloggers just might be on strike.

So, never fear! Pretend Corey will be here. I will be re-posting more of my original posts from the beginning of my blog. You know...back before I was famous. snicker...snicker....

I had actually intended on having new posts for Megan to post for me...but getting sick really put a damper on my energy level, and my time. I am fairly certain viewing 6 days straight of cartoons damaged more than a few of my brain cells as well.

Have a great weekend everyone. Have an even better week! Don't blog too much without me. wink wink!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mama's Got A New Toy!



Yes...you read that right! I actually spent some money...on myself, and believe it or not...it was surprisingly painless. For a few months, I have been pondering which lens I would want next. I suppose this part of the process is where I did my serious agonizing, so by the time I actually made the online purchase, I was excited and ready. Merry Christmas to me it certainly is! I am thrilled to announce my new Baby.



As of two days ago, I am the proud owner of a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM. Yes...I do realize that is a mouthful, but I have some extra words coming to me since I successfully remained wordless yesterday. wink wink..... Anyhow, what that entirely lengthy name means is....I now have a super fun new lens that will allow me to expand my photography hobby in all sorts of directions. I am beyond blissful with all the possibilities.



These are the first few snaps I took while trying to get the hang of it. I must say it is taking awhile to get used to. It is nearly three times the size of my other lens, and at least that much heavier. At this point I'd say we are quite good acquaintances, but will soon be good friends. I look forward to the day when I can call it my BFF! Yes...I know...I am embarrassingly nerdy! OH well... to each his own, and I am thrilled to be finding my "own!"



Watch out world, here I come....with camera in hand, and it's going to get personal. I am no longer going to stay out of your business, and privacy is NOT an option for you. I'll be looking up, down, over and under. I will peek through your curtains, and look through your mail. So sorry....but it is just how I have to roll. You can't say I didn't give you fair warning!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

The JOY of reading....part TWO!

Okay, so back in August I wrote a little ditty....oh yeah....a long ditty, about the joy of reading to my daughter. Feel free to go back and read it, as I really need to get another cough drop.

I'm back, and hopefully so are you. Sorry, it was so long winded, but that is how I roll. Anyhow, tonight as I sat reading with my Sugar before bed I was really relishing in the JOY of it all. I was fortunate enough to be "reading" a dandy book called, "twinkle, twinkle little star, and other favorite bedtime rhymes." The quotes around the word READING were placed there for a variety of reasons. I am just not sure it could be described as me "reading" to her.

1. The some of the rhymes in this book are also songs, so I find that I have to actually sing most of them. The ones that aren't songs, I still have to say in sort of a sing songy type of way.

2. This was the 15th night in a row of reading this same book. We have nearly 300 children's books in this here house, and I am stuck reading the same book over and over. Now I understand that this is an important part of child development, but seriously, it really squashes me brain cells. I haven't had a chance to read "are you my mother?" in a few months...and that makes me sad. I miss it.



3. Sugar is working on memorizing all the rhymes and so in fact, she has to repeat every line either a few words behind me, or a full line behind. She often stops me, to tell me to stop reading, so she can try to do it herself. It was cute the first 10 times, but I have to admit....this only draws out the bedtime routine, and I am not certain it isn't a ploy.

4. Last night, Sugar insisted on trying to do the Rhymes all by herself, it went something like this:

Sugar: "Star light...star light...."
Mama: "Star bright."
Sugar: "MOMMMMMMM... don't talk!" Star light, star bright......ummmm"
Mama: "First star...
Sugar: (Interrupting) "MOMMMMM...don't talk!" First star I see bright!"
Mama: "tonight"
Sugar: "Mommmmmmm don't talk!" I wish, I wish...I wish tonight!"
Mama: "Very good honey."
Sugar: "That wasn't right...how it go?"
Mama: "I wish I may.."
Sugar: "MOMMMMMMMMM don't talk!"

and so on....for like 15 rhymes! Can you feel the JOY in that? I have to admit...I wasn't lovin it.

5. Tonight....I have a sore throat, and she INSISTED that I be the one to read tonight. So I started in a whisper. I find that when I whisper my throat doesn't get irritated and and I won't start coughing. Sugar was not having it. She insisted that I read in my normal voice, even after I explained that it hurt mama's throat. For the first time in a week, she NEEDED me to do it. of course......so I suffered through only after begging to read the shortest book we own to no avail.

6. Tomorrow...we'll be back to, "don't talk mama!" I'm sure of it, and it appears I'll be embracing it. It is all about perspective. tee hee

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tick.....Tick....Tick......

Can you hear it? Tick....tick....tick....it's a time bomb, and it is ticking....and ticking....and ticking....waiting to go off. It resides within me. It's presence in my body is annoying, and frustrating. Who put it here? Tick....tick...tick....who did this to me? Tick....tick...tick.....

Thursday morning, I awoke to the sound all mothers dread. The horrific sound of a panicked child, pleading for mama to come. I heard a cough....and a sputter and a wail...."Mama!!!! My water came out!" I knew immediately what she meant. She had just vomited. I rushed to her bedside, as she shook and heaved. I gathered her up, and held her to my chest as she finished the round of stomach revolts. I quickly stripped her, wrapped her in a blanket, and ran for towels....lots of towels, to cover the couch. I planted her in a nest of blankets, and I hurriedly changed my clothes. Luckily, I was correct in knowing we had some time before her little body attacked her again. In fact, we had twenty minutes. Enough time to strip her bed and start the first round of laundry. I knew we would be needing clean blankets later, when we ran out.

Tick....tick...tick....

From 5:30 am until 5:30 pm we had eruptions of vomit every 20-40 minutes. I am not sure if this is true of all children, but when my Sugar is sick, she can NOT be close enough to me. If she could, she would crawl right back from where she came. I spent the day, after canceling all Thanksgiving plans, huddled on the couch giving as much tender loving care as I possibly could. Sugar was all over me trying to find that comfy spot. I am blessed to know that I was the one to make it better...well, as better as it gets when you are sick.

Tick...tick...tick...

Friday, the puking was gone, but only to be replaced with diarea diareha runny poops! FUN! I spent the day changing 643 poopy diapers, and BEGGING her to drink something. I washed my hands 687 times, and did 2 more loads of laundry. I really thought Sugar was on the mend.

Tick...tick...tick...

Saturday at 3am....the howling started. After 32 hours of NO vomiting....she started up again. Luckily, as of 5:45 this morning, there is no vomiting or icky diapers, but she is just laying there and staring at the TV. In the last three days, we have watched "monsters Inc, Bambi, Finding Nemo, Home on the Range, Elmo in Grouchland, Cars, Little Mermaid....and all sorts of PBS and NOGGIN. I've had my fill...but I am not certain there will be a reprieve.

Tick...tick...tick...

You see....there is this time bomb....and it is ticking. Unless, I am incredibly lucky, and have some serious super powers, there is no way I will dodge this bullet. I am not certain a person can catch vomit in your bare hands, have a toddler stick their sick little finger up your nose, and insist on giving you Eskimo kisses all day, and possibly not catch it. It is quite pausible I will soon be laying on the couch begging Sugar to just watch TV while I DIE!

Tick...tick...tick....

Time will tell!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Photo Hunters~HOT

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Okay, so this certainly isn't very original, but I had not taken the opportunity to try and capture fire with my DSLR yet, so I figured now was as good of time as any.

Our house has a forced air furnace, but Hubby and I agree, that the wood stove provides the best kind of heat to warm our house and our hearts. I took this photo looking into the open door of our wood stove.



Thank you for visiting my blog this week. Have a very happy weekend!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Freestyle

Happy Friday everyone! It is the best kind of Friday around here. It is a long weekend sort of Friday. I actually have a FIVE day weekend. WOW! I am so very spoiled, huh? Well, don't feel too jealous. I spent the entire Thanksgiving day tending to a puking child. Odds are....I'll be puking tomorrow. sigh....it will be fine. I'm sure.

Anyhow, today, I'd like to discuss Bloggy Communication. I have been blessed with some really lovely readers of this little thing I call my blog. I have been over blessed with some very active commenters as well. For that I thank you. I do like to talk...and I do talk A LOT, but it isn't fun to feel like I am talking to myself. I can do that in my head. It is a kick for me to have folks commenting, and interacting with me.

I do find that it is difficult for me to always get back to people about their comment. I don't always like to go to YOUR blog and leave a comment about YOUR comment, as I think it takes away from the topic that had been discussing. If I comment back on my own thread, I know that most people don't come back to it to check it out, so that feels like a waste of energy. My preferred method of responding it through email. Several months ago, my friend, Megan, posted about this, and directed her readers to a post that gave directions on how to change a setting, so that when you comment, the email message comes from your email account and not the "noreply". This is fabulous. When Megan leaves me a comment, I can easily just hit reply in my email, and comment right back. I love it. It is so efficient and I feel that it strengthens the communication loop.

I'd love to direct you to Katherine's post, Comment Mystery Solved, so that you may consider making the change as well. I'd love to be able to contact you directly regarding your comments. Think of the fun we'll have. tee hee

Have a great weekend! I look forward to contacting you soon! wink wink....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble, Gobble Good!


Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you! I hope that today finds in you the presence of those you love, and that you take the time to truly have thanksgiving. One thing I am constantly aware of, is being exceedingly grateful for all that I have. I often say that I am blessed, and that LIFE IS GOOD! That doesn't mean that I haven't had my share of heartache, or that I have lead a life that everyone should aspire to, but it does mean that I know, and accept that this is the life I have. It is up to ME to make it what I want, and to always be looking for the bright and better side of life. In this....I find that I can be successful.

Several years ago, I started a gratitude journal, where I wrote 3 or more things I was grateful for each day. It really did help keep me in perspective, and it is a blessing to go back and read some of the things I was grateful for. I just spent a few minutes looking back.

April 2003
-I am grateful for beautiful blue sky. Sometimes when I look at it.......I can't believe how incredible it is. It truly is an amazing thing to look at.

-I am grateful for fun days with Friends. I love to scrap and chat, shop and chat, and chat and chat! I don't know what I would do without friends. :)

February 2003
-I am grateful for the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen the other day. sunsets can be soooooooooooo amazing. God is Good!

-I am grateful for a fun time learning to use my digital camera. I really think it will make picture taking fun! :)

January 2003

-I am grateful for a nice warm shower on a cold evening. I love standing in the hot water. it feels so good and is so relaxing before bed! :)

December 2002

- I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lower our home loan interest and time. It will save us a ton of money! That is always a good thing.

And Thanksgiving 2002

-I am grateful for a nice easy Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house. It was nice to see some of my extended family.

As you can see, my grateful thoughts didn't have to be BIG things....just anything that I could focus on that helped me see that LIFE IS GOOD. I am not certain why I stopped, but I am sure that I should start up again, and what better of a time to start than RIGHT NOW!

-I am grateful that the first thing my daughter says every morning is, "Mama!"

-I am grateful to be a trusted friend and confidante. It isn't always easy, but it is an honor to be the one people go to when they need help.

-I am grateful that I live close enough to family so that we can see them as often as we want, but not so close that there are visiting every day. wink wink...

-I am grateful for lovely, relaxed evenings at home, where Sugar Bear and I are free to sing, play and make cookies.

Gobble, Gobble Good Cookies indeed! I got this idea from the Ramblings of a Crazy Woman. Thank you!











Have a Super Fabulous Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Okay...for as long as I have been blogging, I have repeatedly run across post after post titled "Wordless Wednesday". I resisted....I held back....I was NOT going to do it. "Why?", you might ask. Well, I'll tell you why. I absolutely, posititootly, can not fathom being "wordless". It isn't hard to see that I am a person full of words. I am wordy, talkative, chatter mouthed, long-winded, etc. I simply can NOT be trusted to do anything without using a word or two....okay, a word or 500. So being totally, and utterly responsible, I have purposely stayed off that wagon.

Then I got to thinking....yeah I know....can you see the smoke coming out of my ears? I threw caution to the wind, and did some serious thinking about why, I was so sure that I wouldn't be able to just post a photo....and say nothing. Isn't a picture worth a thousand words? Don't I feel confident that I can convey meaning with my photography? What am I scared of?

So...beyond this obviously wordy first week of participation, I will begin my "Wordless Wednesday" journey, and have confidence that I can challenge myself and succeed. I am here.....officially zipping my lips!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

K is for......Flying a KITE!



You've seen plenty of Beach Trip photos here at Living and Loving, but this trip was different, we had a very special mission in mind.



I have very few memories of flying a kite, but what I do recall is the blessed feeling it produced. As if you were a part of the wind...a part of something so much bigger than yourself. It was as if the string connected you to the whole world.



With great joy, hubby and I introduced Sugar bear to her very first kite this past summer. Her toddler mind was initially consumed with all things that are DORA, but....soon, it was apparent that she was getting it. She felt the strength, she felt the power, she felt the peace. It was a beautiful thing to watch. I smiled so much that day, my cheeks ached.



A Kite

I often sit and wish that I
Could be a kite up in the sky,
And ride upon the wind and go
Whichever way I chanced to blow.
-author unknown





Don't ignore the small things -- the kite flies because of its tail.
-Hawaiian Proverb




"I see children as kites. You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground. You run with them until you're both breathless...they crash...they hit the rooftop...you patch and comfort, adjust and teach. You watch them lifted by the wind and assure them that someday they'll fly. Finally they are airborne, they need more string and you keep letting it out. But with each twist of the ball of twine, there is a sadness that goes with the joy. The kite becomes more distant, and you know it won't be long before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you together and will soar as it is meant to soar, free and alone. Only then do you know that your job is done."
-Erma Bombeck




“Imagination is the highest kite one can fly”
-Lauren Bacall




The sun warms my heart
The wind stirs my mind
My kite dances to the music of my soul
-Gloria Wells


Monday, November 19, 2007

Being "On the Cheap" Isn't Always So Bad!



It is common knowledge that I am officially "on the cheap", and I have a grave disorder I so lovingly refer to as "my fear of spending." It is a real blessing thorn in my side. It often cripples me to a point that is hard to explain. I can agonize over the simplest purchases. If you haven't read about this crazy little quirk, go right ahead and read about it. It is really something that sets me apart from EVERYONE I know. (A little update for you...I finally did purchase that DSLR and of course I am loving it. The funny tidbit is this...I purchased my camera through Amazon. I signed up for the Amazon credit card, and saved $30 off the top, then....then....I used my Amazon points to get a FREE Waffle Iron! tee hee, so don't fret....I'm no longer deprived of waffles.)

This crazy non-spendiness covers all areas of my life. Since having Sugar Bear, I am constantly eager to take hand me downs when offered, shop second hand, and often...and I mean OFTEN I choose to just MAKE her what I want her to have. Here are a few of the examples of this particular illness.

There was the "I'm not paying THAT for a Boutique Bow" phase:






The beginning of the "I'm not paying THAT for portraits" era (my photograph skills have come a LONG way, huh?):





The "I'm not paying THAT for Boutique Overalls" era:









Then to top that all off, I usually end up making these things to sell, so that I can actually MAKE money. It really gets crazy here in my little head.

This past summer, the preschool teacher in me was going crazy. I badly wanted to give Sugar Bear the sensory stimulation that a Sand and Water Table could provide. You know what I'm talking about, this little thingy. The only thing holding me back was the pesky price tag. All the ones I could find, cost at least $50, and I just couldn't justify spending that much money for something she may or may not like, and would soon outgrow. I did a lot of thinking. I picked my hubby's brain, and this little set up is the result. Not only was the price right, it is quite functional.



We purchased four clear storage totes. Two of the large ones, and two of the shallow ones. As you can see in the photos, the smaller ones fit right down into the larger ones leaving some space in the bottom.



We use one as a water table. I simply filled the shallow tote with water and added some cheap water toys. When she was done playing, we would dump the water and store the toys in the bottom of the larger tote.



We use one as a sand table. We "borrowed" some sand from the beach. We put the extra in the bottom of the larger tote, so if the sand slowly disappeared, due to a young child not quite keeping it in the container all the time, we had extra to replace it with easily. The sand toys were also stored in the bottom of the water table tote. We simply place the lid on after playing, to keep the cat from using it as a litter box.



I can not recommend this set up enough. Not only was it about $20, it can be used for storage both now and when she is no longer interested. Sugar has been playing with her sand and water tables for over 5 months now, and still loves it. If it is too short of her by next summer, we'll just put the totes up on something to lift it to the right height. Possible some wood blocks or some bricks we have laying around here.



I know this post would probably be better timed if it were sand and water table season, but I just edited these photos recently, and wanted to share our great idea. I'd love to hear what you think....go ahead leave me a little comment. wink wink...even if it is just to tell me that I am the weirdest person you know.



Sunday, November 18, 2007

What's It All About?


Tonight...I am running low on time, and creativity, and photos that are edited. tee hee

So I decided to run an old post from 6 months ago, back when I had few readers. For some of you...this will be a re-run, but for most of you it will be fresh and new....but odd, as Sugar has indeed changed a bunch.

I chose this particuliar post, as I will soon be doing a follow-up to it, so I figured a refresher on where I am coming from can't hurt....and I'm super lazy tonight.

Enjoy some Corey of Past.

What's It All About?



As many of you know, I am in no way a neat freak. It is laughable actually. I really don't hold up to the typical Virgo when it comes to organization and order. However, it sure can be a real struggle for me to whip out a really messy craft. Maybe it is the dreaded clean up that has me so apprehensive????



I find it pretty surprising that a former preschool teacher, like myself, hadn't yet given my nearly 2.5 year old child the opportunity to bust out her inner artist with a medium such as finger paints. I had to just quiet my inner lazy cleaner-upper, and let her at it!



First I set her up with an old t-shirt, to make sure those darn washable finger paints didn't touch her clothes. There is nothing I hate more than a pesky stain on her clothes. Then I got her a nice big piece of freezer paper, and set it out on the deck. I had decided that outside was the best environment to induce creativity!



Sugar Bear was looking at me like I was nuts! It took her a little while to understand that I was letting her make a mess, but when she got it....she got it. It was then my turn to "get it!" I had a few hard moments when all she wanted to do was rub the paint between her hands. I kept telling her, "Rub the paint on the paper, honey!" and she just kept smiling and rubbing her hands together joyfully. I found myself thinking....jeez....we could have just done this with lotion or something....at least something less expensive. Yes, I am a cheap-o-holic also.



I am not sure how long I looked on thinking, "this isn't what I expected!" until I started to really pay attention to what my daughter was actually doing. Sugar Bear was engrossed, she was immersed, she was intrigued by the process. How could I forget this one simple thing????? It is more about the process than the product. Watching the process is amazing.....to see the mind working, to feel the heart filling. That is what it is all about. May I never forget this!



Now I can't say, that in the end, I wasn't pretty impressed with the product. Honestly, this kid is the next big thing! Look at the masterpiece!



You might be wondering about the clean up.....yeah, you try getting a paint covered two year old through the house and into the bathtub without her touching anything. Let's just say, I hid the paints for awhile. We don't need those darn things tempting us! :)

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For a list of books I read from 9/14/09 until 9/14/10 go HERE!


For a list of books I read from 9/14/10 until 9/14/11 go HERE!


For a list of books I read from 9/14/11 until 9/14/12 go HERE!

Books starting 9/14/12


“Monsters of Men” by Patrick Ness

“Gregor and The Prophecy of Bane” by Suzanne Collins



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