Friday, July 29, 2011

you want me to do WHAT??

Christian has been finding bug bites on his legs. One or two every few days.


We're convinced there's a spider on his side of the bed.


And even though the bites don't resemble bed bugs, we even looked for that.


We changed all the sheets, thoroughly cleaned our room, removed the bed skirt and duvet cover. Found a torn hole in the "cambric" (mesh type stuff that closes off the bottom of the box frame) near the foot of his side of the bed and thoroughly stapled it shut.

I was convinced my stapling job had trapped the spider in the box frame and it would never get out again. I was quite proud of myself.

Then another bite showed up today.


So Christian said he's going to sleep on the couch. Test if these bites are actually coming from in bed or elsewhere.

And then he told me that I should sleep on his side of the bed to see if anything bites me.

Um, excuse me?

What did you say?

Sleep on your side of the bed??

I love you, but there's no way in hell...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

using "naturally molly" in the workplace

I just got this email from Kaylynn:

My boss just walked in my office and said "is it 'use to' or 'used to'" and I said, "Let's read Molly's blog!". So we did. And we chose used to.

See? My blog proves useful for more than just wasting time on the computer.

Thanks, Kaylynn! You made my day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

pink for boys

Let me give you my opinion.

I think it's ridiculous that little boys think they can't like pink. Or big boys for that matter. It's not a problem if girls like blue, but boys can't like pink.

Case in point: I was in line at Marshalls behind a mom and her (approximately) 4-year-old son. He reached for a toy and she barked, "Are you a girl?! ARE YOU A GIRL?! You don't like pink! Are you a girl? No. You don't want that. You don't like pink!" That's not socialization. That's shoving gender roles down the poor kid's throat. I wanted to smack her. Heaven forbid that little boy some day realize he's gay and have to come out of the closet with a mother like that.

Case in point number two: I was at a princess birthday party a few weeks back, and a young boy gave a little protest over eating pink cake on a Disney-princess paper plate. Graham, on the other hand, tried desperately to climb up on the table to grab the princesses off the castle cake.

Oh, he just doesn't know yet that little boys don't play with princesses.

Or maybe he doesn't ever have to know.

Oh wait. It's inevitable. Everything around us socializes us to believe that, and he will soon learn that princesses are for girls and superheroes are for boys.

I'm not opposed to little girls liking girlie stuff and little boys liking rough and tumble stuff. Let them like what they want. I do think a good deal of it is innate. No matter how I try to get Graham to appreciate flowers and pretty things, he would MUCH rather point out cars and trucks and buses. But I hate the idea that pink is only for girls.

Graham has a big pink kickball in the back yard. And he's been known to wear some pretty cute pink polos to church. In fact, if I had been faster on the Craigslist ad, he would have a nice pink balance bike to ride around. (So mad I didn't see that one in time! It was such a good deal.)

No, I'm not going to dress Graham in dresses and frilly things, but I will be sad when he comes home one day and announces that pink is only for girls.

This coming from a mama who loves all colors but whose least-preferred color is purple...with pink following not far behind.

Friday, July 22, 2011

happy friday

1. You know how some people eat junk food all the time and then complain that they aren't losing weight? Kind of ridiculous. On a completely unrelated note, I'm totally not losing weight. On another totally unrelated note, that brownie I just ate was super good.

2. I want these swim trunks and these mocassins/boat shoes from Du Pareil for my boys. Why, oh why are there such cute kids clothes in Europe? Why are they so much cooler than us?

3. Graham is 21 months today. He can now say bus, truck, ball, bubbles, no (no no no no--usually directed at Liam), go, moo, baa baa, meow, roar, caw caw (for all birds--we have lots of crows at our house), and a few other words I can't remember. In fact, he said turkey once. He may be a late talker, but it's coming.

4. Liam just turned 7 months. He is full on crawling. And can practically push himself up to sitting. And is at the beginning stages of pulling himself up on things. What the what??

5. Christian is 30. He feeds and dresses himself. I'm so proud of him. Actually, he feeds and dresses the rest of us, too.

6. Speaking of Christian--he finally got a Tesla jacket at work. Now he can fit in. There is some SERIOUS Tesla pride going on there. Everyone wears Tesla gear to work. It's pretty funny. (In case you're wondering, Christian's temp position will end August 31st, but we're working hard to land him a fixed position. Keep your fingers crossed.)

7. I want this dress from ModCloth. And a colorful brooch to pin on it. And maybe a bright scarf to wear on my head. Yes. That would be lovely.

8. And maybe these heels from ModCloth...

And these flats from Camper... I fell in love with them in Miami.

And these boots from Camper... Love...

9. And the dress made me think of cute boots. And then I thought of cooler weather. Not that I need cooler weather--it hasn't even been that hot this year. But just the thought of it brings back that familiar longing for Autumn. I guess it's the time of year...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

i don't like arugula

Did you know that arugula is spicy?

I didn't. I don't pay enough attention to know things like that.

But I ended up with a lot of arugula in the "salad mix" I planted in my garden.

And I like my salads sweet--fruits, nuts, vinaigrettes.

So what in the world was I to do with all this arugula??

Arugula-walnut pesto!

So yummy.

Graham sat on the counter and helped me. He ran the food processor.

He ate roasted walnuts. He ate roasted garlic. He ate pesto on toast.

He even bit a lemon.


Friday, July 15, 2011

in the words of james brown...

{photo source}

In the words of James Brown... I feel good.

Yesterday, however, I did not feel good. Unemployment (or should I say underemployment) and a long-lasting job hunt is not exactly chicken soup for the soul. The past couple of days have been disheartening, but I think we're on the upward swing of this emotional pendulum.

And that's good. I much prefer the upward swing.

On top of that upward swing, I feel good for another reason: I'm simplifying my life.

While Christian looks for full time work and can't find it, I have part-time work falling in my lap and can't take it.

Funny how that works. Such is life.

Last week I got an email from the director of my evening teaching job to see if I had made a decision about teaching in the Fall. I've been putting off this decision for weeks.

Yesterday I got a phone call from an former professor of mine at SJSU asking if I'd like to teach 2 sections of a remedial reading/writing course for SJSU undergraduates. Talk about feeling flattered. I'd have to convince Stanford to let me cut back to 75% FTE for a semester.

Would I like to teach my ESL students again? Of course I would!

Would I like to take a shot at teaching undergrads? Of course I would!

Would I like to have a nervous breakdown? Mmmmm, probably not!

So today I called my ESL director and told her to go ahead and find someone else this year. She knows I love them, and I know she loves me. There will be opportunities in the future.

I also decided to decline the SJSU position. It's not a highly sought-after course among the faculty, so there should be opportunities in the future.

Then I took a deep breath and thought about an entire year of having only one job.

And I feel good.

Monday, July 11, 2011

spying on the neighbors

My mom is home with our boys today. I guess our neighbors are hosting a little play date/mom's group.

Graham is spying on them.

Friday, July 8, 2011

considering taking the plunge

Wait! Before you read the rest of this post, I want you to tell my what you thought this post was about based on the title. I'd love to hear what you guys think "taking the plunge" might mean to me.

Go ahead. Leave a comment. Take a wild guess.

Did you do it?

Okay. You can keep reading now.

I'm considering getting a smart phone. I've put it off for years. I like having a little phone that fits in my pocket (or more specifically, that fits in my hand while I'm out running). I don't want a big, bulky phone.


I do want a nice pretty week-view calendar on my phone.

(Week Calendar App. I want this. Oh, and 10 points to you if you find what's funny about the sample calendar above.)

I do want an easy way to track my calories until I'm back to my "skinny" weight.

I do want to log my workouts without having to get on the computer.

I do want to easily budget and track expenditures (and be able to share that tracking with Christian) in real time.

I do want to have access to Google Maps since I am forever leaving home without remembering to look up where I'm going. (Case in point: I got off the train the other day and then remembered that I didn't actually know which road to take to get home...)

I do want to easily post pictures to Facebook from my phone.

And I do want to have easy access to my beloved to-do lists. (Although it will be hard for me to let go of handwritten to-do lists on paper. Those are my favorite.)

Back to the don'ts.

I don't want to be checking my email constantly. I'm on the internet all day as it is.

I don't want to be looking at my phone instead of playing with my boys (or whatever other important things are going on in my life).

(LOVE this commercial. I laugh every time.)

I don't want to pay for the "data package" with my cell phone plan.

This may not happen for a while since we're trying to cut back on expenses, not add new ones. So we'll see.

Those of you with smart phones: Which phone do you have? Do you LOVE it? And which apps are "essentials" to your life?

champion thighs

Rode my bike to work for the second time this week. 15 miles. Loved it. Cut 5 minutes off my ride time from Wednesday.

Although today I'm wearing new pants that are quite snug just in the thighs.

Makes me feel like Champion from The Triplets of Belleville.

Have you see that movie? You should. It's unique and quirky.

*Photo source

Thursday, July 7, 2011

the problem with couponing

Have you watched Extreme Couponing on TLC? It's pretty much the same thing over and over and over, yet I get hooked when we turn it on.

It's fascinating for two reasons.

1) The ridiculous number of items people get just because they can get them free, even though they seemingly do nothing with it but add it to their "stockpile."

2) The ridiculous number of items people get for free because they plan to actually use it (either for their own family or donating it to those in need).

One is the biggest waste and borders on hoarding. The other is pure genius. Like the lady who buys enough peanut butter for the year when it goes on sale. Or the lady who has a room full of diapers (all acquired for free), because she plans to have kids in the near future and won't have to pay a penny for diapers.

But let's talk about the problems with couponing.

#1: It takes WAY too much time for us normal people.

I tried to get into couponing when I was on bed rest. Even with working part time from the couch, finding and printing and sorting and remembering to use coupons was a ton of work. And I was only dipping into it. Now that I'm back at work with two kids at home, there is no way I have time to be organized enough for using coupons. While I'd LOVE to save money and get stuff for free, our precious time at home needs to be allocated to playing with our kids, bathing our kids, scrounging up making dinner, getting the kids' stuff ready for day care, cleaning the house, exercising, and hanging out with each other. Not finding, printing, and sorting coupons.

To my friends who work full time: Do you manage to coupon on top of everything else? If so, HOW IN THE WORLD?

#2: You get suckered into getting things you don't normally use.

I almost signed up for a mailing that included a free Febreeze sample and coupons for a bunch of other cleaning products. Then I came to my senses. 1) What we need in this world is FEWER things printed on paper and mailed out, and 2) I don't even use those cleaning products. We use water, Fantastik, and Clorox Wipes (cheapo brand from Costco) for all our (few-and-far-between) cleaning efforts in my house. That's it. All these coupons for Glade products are no good to me. Who cares if I can get them for 50 cents? Normally I wouldn't get them at all. You know, free-ninety-free. In fact, in my ideal world I'd use lemon, vinegar, and baking soda for all my cleaning needs. Give me some coupons I can use, people.

#3: 90% of non-cleaning-product coupons are for junk food.

Have you noticed what kinds of things people piling into their carts on the Extreme Couponing show? Juice. Sports Drinks. Pasta Roni. Sugary cereals. Cake mixes. Candy. Frozen. Canned. Packaged. Boxed. Sure, they have some healthy things thrown in there, but it's mostly highly processed foods. My goal in life is to move toward fresh foods. Homemade foods. Things that are good for you. While I do enjoy an occasional Pasta Roni, I don't really need 20 in my cupboard. I need more fruits and vegetables and beans.

However, making things from scratch and eating delicious and healthy homemade takes a lot of time, too.

I just can't win, can I?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-couponing. People who can use coupons to their advantage (and only get the things they actually need) are WAY up there in my book. I'm seriously impressed. And I'd do it if I had the time (or the desire...or the organizational skills...).

So tell me. How do you cut down on your grocery bills? Or better yet--if you didn't have much time at home to be preparing things yourself, how would you cut down on your grocery bills?

Friday, July 1, 2011

hymns and single men?

Thank you, Pandora, for choosing such an appropriate background for my choice of music.