Friday, December 28, 2012

time to get angry

I was cleaning out the garage on Wednesday and trying to purge stuff that we don't really need. I tend to keep lots of stuff that we "might" need some day, so I kept just moving things around.

In the middle of my project, something came up that made me pretty upset. Sad, angry, frustrated all bundled up together. And do you know what? My purging skills skyrocketed. I suddenly started throwing twice as much in the give-away pile.

It was great!

Quick. Someone make me mad. I'm in a good mood today and my purging skills aren't up to par. Make me mad so I can get rid of all our junk. ;)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

the end of an era

Cenote Ceh’ Yax

 So tomorrow is December 21, 2012. That's when the world will end, right?

Wrong. Sorry guys. You still have to go to work. You still have to make dinner. (Doesn't making dinner every single day get annoying? Maybe that's just me.). You still have to pay off your loans.

The Mayan calendar is cyclical, just like our calendar. The "long count" portion of the calendar ends some time around December 21st of this year. (December 21st would make sense since it is the winter solstice.)

What happens when our calendar year ends? It starts again the next day.

So does the Mayan calendar. The start of a new era.

And what happens at the start of each of our years? We resolve to make changes. To be better.

The end of the Mayan long count marks the start of a new era: a chance for us to wipe away the evils of the previous era. For us to rebuild this earth. To have a new world.

I've never been huge on making new year's resolutions, but this I can wrap my brain around.

Who cares if I start going to the gym in January or if I start drinking 8 glasses of water a day or if I resolve to blog twice a week every week for all of 2013?

Let's use this new era to make the world a better place. A second chance.

Forget making new year's resolutions on January 1st. How about we make life resolutions on December 21st?

What kind of life are you going to to live in the new era? How are you going to contribute to a new world? In your home. In your community. Globally.

Think about it.

I'll be making my list tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

i believe we are connected

Still thinking about the families in Connecticut. Not the debate on gun control. Not whether autism can be connected to violence. Just the families. Just the pain. My heart is still heavy.

My heart is heavy for all the injustices, violence, and pain caused around this world. I've been making it a point in my life to be more aware of what people are going through around the world. It's easy to bury our heads. It's easy to look the other way. Not on purpose. Not because we are cold hearted. And often not consciously. But because it doesn't seem that our brains are capable of really processing the pain that people experience. It's easy to feel like our efforts to curb murder, torture, slavery, trafficking, oppression barely make a dent in the world. Reality is heavy. The human experience is heavy. Life is beautiful and filled with so much joy, but also so much pain.

I know why. I know that everyone has agency: the ability to choose whether they will help or hurt others. I know that natural forces in this world are allowed to take their course. I know that the mind is fragile and breaks. I know that sometimes we bring pain upon ourselves, and sometimes our pain is caused by others. I know that we will all die some day. Some young, some old. Some by natural causes, some in tragic circumstances. I know, but that doesn't mean my mind really comprehends.

In the midst of all this, I do believe in comfort. I believe the human race is connected. I believe that I can send comfort to you when you are in pain. And vice versa. I believe people can feel what we send them. This week I sent my comfort to the other side of the country. I don't need it this week. I can comfort myself. 

Try it. Send your comfort to Connecticut. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012


This post is dedicated to Christian, since I got to talk to him for a total of about 90 seconds tonight! Work, tutoring, soccer. Such is life.

What's this? I'm blogging the night before I have to teach seminary? I found myself with a bit of free time. You see, I'm now tutoring one of my seminary students, so at the end of our tutoring session, I said, "Hey--What do you want to do for Scripture Mastery tomorrow?" And he said, "Oh, I know of this fun game with toilet paper. I can't remember exactly how to play it, but the other students do." Then I said, "Okay. I'll bring the toilet paper and you guys teach me how to play in the morning." Done and done. That's how I roll.

On to the post.

I took the boys out of the house for 2 full hours today, and neither of them had an accident!
    Spent almost an hour trying to convince the boys to pee so that we could leave the house. No promise or bribe could make them do it. They'll pee when they want to pee. End of story.

    Finally. Pee! I didn't care if it was 20 minutes before their nap time. We were going out, dang it!

    Forced them to put on pants. You would have thought I was forcing them to eat snails. It seems they are spoiled rotten getting to run around buck naked so much.

    It started to sprinkle right as we left. Of course. But I was willing to weather that storm.

    Trucks, tractors, rain, leaf blowers! This was the outside world they had been missing!

    First stop: Kid 2 Kid to look for a travel potty. Didn't have the right one. Thank goodness for that little pink door. It's the only thing that will lure the boys out of that store.

    Second stop: Stan's Donuts. Because everyone deserves a donut while potty training. Graham ate the chocolate off the top, picked the lemon filling out with his index finger,  handed me the leftovers, and asked for more. Note to self: just buy the kid a tub of frosting.

    Liam, on the other hand, took one little bite, handed me the rest, and proceeded to try to climb the building and run around like a mad man. Note to self: don't bother buying sweets for that kid. Give him cheese.

    What do you do when it's 30 minutes past nap time, it's about to rain, and you just fed your kid a donut? Why, you go to the park, of course!

    After 3 years of over-sized cloth diaper bums, it is ridiculously cute to see their tiny bums in pants. Not to mention the crack. As with everything else, Liam takes after me...

    and Graham takes after Christian.

    On the way home I asked Graham if he wanted to pee on a tree and he got super excited. We tried. The pee just wouldn't come. He'll still tell you he peed on the tree, though. Liam tried, too.

    Then we walked home in the rain.

    Both boys peed on the potty when we got home.

    Could not have been a better outing. Love these boys.

    need potty training advice

    Hi everyone! I need your input. I know many of you have been through the potty training thing before (and some of you many times). So I have two main questions for you. Thanks in advance for your input!

    First, let me explain the method I'm using. We're doing the bare-bum method. Last Friday the boys helped me gather all our diapers and banish them to the garage. We haven't seen them since. In fact, we've rarely even seen pants since them. The boys have been bare-bummed for a week straight (except for very brief walks in our neighborhood, during which they wear loose pants with nothing under them).

    Note: We introduced peeing in the potty and bare bums here and there over a couple weeks. So last Friday was the day we went 100%, but not their first exposure.

    Graham has had a 100% success rate. After the second day, Liam's record has been almost as good (Except for yesterday. My poor mom.) Our problems now boil down to night time and leaving the house, which, as I understand, is totally normal. But I'd like to get all your input before I proceed.

    1. Night-time accidents: The boys were completely dry the first 2 nights. Liam has been dry most nights since. Graham, however, has not. He has an accident most nights. I actually don't mind stripping the beds and washing the sheets. We've been washing, drying, and folding cloth diapers for 3 years. Washing sheets is nothing in comparison. So ignoring the laundry issues, would you put them in anything at night? The method calls for bare bums 24-7, so I'm wondering if I should just keep going with this or come up with a compromise. Note: I don't want to put them back in diapers at night (or pull ups). Graham used to poop every day, but now he holds his poop for days at a time. I worry that if I put a diaper on him, he'll just wait til he goes to bed to poop. What would you do?

    2. Leaving the house: The boys have barely left the house in a week. I'm starting to feel bad for them. I've really let them take charge of the potty training and I don't hound them about using the potty. They run to the potty when they need to go, but they don't tell me when they're going. They just do it. This is great since I can just do my own thing throughout the day, but I've realized that doesn't translate well to leaving the house since they won't think to tell me when they need to go. I imagine the answer to this question is just that I need to venture out more and that they'll figure it out. But any advice and tips are welcome.

    Ready, go!

    Friday, November 23, 2012

    potty training: round 2

    Trying this potty training thing again. Only this time we're doing both boys at once. Two birds with one stone. (Or at least that's the plan.)

    We've been "unofficially" potty training over the last couple of weeks. 
    (Meaning we let the boys run around with no diapers every so often. Pee in the potty, pee on the carpet. Poop in the potty, ahem, poop on the carpet... and chair...).

    This afternoon we started "official" potty training. 
    The boys first helped me find all the diapers in the house and put them in a bag and banish them to the garage.

    This evening each boy peed 5 times. Liam in the potty chair (strategically placed in the middle of the living room). Graham in the toilet. Not one accident. They play or eat or watch TV then run to the potty when they need to go.
    Not bad.

    Now if they can just keep this up for the next couple of days, I think we'll be good to go.

    I may be jinxing myself by posting this.

    In fact, I'm pretty positive I am.

    Wish us luck.

    Morning update: Both boys just slept through the night without an accident and peed in the potty when they got up. There's no way we can keep this up, right? This is SO different from last time we tested out potty training.

    More realistic mid-day update: Liam racked up 4 accidents this morning, including peeing on the counter and peeing on my feet. I'm about to tear my hair out (or Christian's if he even looks at me wrong). This is more like it.

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    Ah, sick season.

    Oh how I despise sick season. Last year our household was sick for 6 weeks straight. One sickness followed immediately by another.

    So far this year (in the last 3 weeks):

    Liam - stomach bug
    Molly - stomach bug
    Christian - stomach bug
    Graham - cold
    Liam - cold
    Molly - cold
    Christian - cold
    Christian - allergic reaction to shellfish (hives for 3 days followed by sleep-inducing medications)
    The rest of us - still have this never-ending cold

    Can we have a break this week? Pretty pretty please?

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    I'm married to a mustache

    Christian came home back in September convinced that he should start preparing for Movember.

     What is Movember, you ask?

    Movember is a movement that started in Melbourne, Australia, and now has formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

    Men shave clean on November 1st and spend the month growing a mustache in order to spark conversation about men's health and raise money for cancer research. 
    Participants register over at

    In order to start off November with a bang, Christian started his growing season at the beginning of October.

    And then late at night on October 31st, his big beautiful bushy beard went from this... this!!

    Since I refuse to be married to a molestache mustache for an entire month for no reason at all,  
    it's all or nothing for Movember!
     So join Christian in raising awareness and money for men's health and cancer research!
    Click the button below or on the side bar to go to support:

    And Ron Swanson is on board. Of course. Be a man.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    Thursday, September 13, 2012


    Jenna posted about Scotch Naturals nail polish back in April and I've been eyeing it ever since. WANT.

    In reality, this super cheap stuff makes my skin better than anything else. If only I could remember to put it on every night. NEED.

    Lindsay posted about Adara coconut oil a while back and I wanted to try it, but I know I'm wasting my money by buying skin products. I use them a few times and then they sit on my shelf for a year. But before Lindsay moved, she dropped some off for me. I love it. I throw the bottle into the tub while I shower to let the oils soften. Then I use it right after I dry off. Holy cow--soft skin. LOVE.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    and how fast can YOU ride?

    About a third of the way through my bike commute this morning, I pulled up to a stop light at the same time as another cyclist.

    Usual stoplight conversation: How are you? Cold morning/nice morning. Where are you headed? Sounds like a great ride. Have a nice day. Etc.

    I pull up and the guy breaks right into conversation as follows:

    Guy: 17.3-mile commute to Palo Alto. Just started 3 days ago.
    Me: (Are we comparing distances first thing? Maybe he's just excited.) Oh, that's great! Sounds like a good ride. Where are you coming from?
    Guy: Cupertino. (Eyeing my bike bag) I keep all my crap in a file cabinet at work.
    Me: Sounds nice.
    Guy: I don't have to carry anything.
    Me: Uh huh.

    Light turns green. Thank goodness. One-way conversations drive me crazy.

    Caught up at the next light. Crap.

    Guy: I've ridden Foothill probably 3000 times.
    Me: Nice.
    Guy: (Eyeing my bike) You've got to have good lights. At least 400 lumens. I've got 3 up here. (Shows me his very expensive lights.)
    Me: Yeah, when it starts getting dark I'll put mine on. (Note the very bright sun in the sky.)
    Guy: I've got 5 in back. See? (Indeed. 5 expensive lights.)

    Light turns green. Never been happier.

    Needless to say, I rode a bit slower to be sure I didn't make the next light. I was worried if we kept meeting up that way he'd go on to tell me how many calories he was burning, how much he can bench press, how much money he makes, and how many times a week he and his wife have sex... Yikes!

    Glad he's commuting by bike, but I hope by next week he has improved his stoplight conversation skills.

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    my mind is mush

    A few times over the past week I've thought, "Ooh. I should write on my blog!" and do you know what?

    My mind has been COMPLETELY BLANK.

    My mind is mush, people. Mush.

    I've been really busy, but I love it. My time is consumed by

    (Ahem, note the lack of colon at the end of that line. I will write a grammar post about this.)

    • a job I love (in all its half-time glory),
    • kids I love (even when they drive me crazy),
    • a husband I love (even when he drives me crazy),
    • working out (P90X, running, and biking--all 3 every week),
    • team-teaching seminary with Christian (a serious time sucker, but great so far),
    • being social here and there (wonderful),
    • and the never-ending task of trying to keep my house clean (I'm actually getting better at it!).

    But my mind seems to be mush. I guess it's a good mush?

    So despite the mush, I hereby promise to organize my thoughts and blog more often.

    You're welcome.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    the food chain

    Snails should eat weeds.

    And squirrels should eat snails.

    And cats should eat squirrels instead of pooping in vegetable gardens.

    That would fix 99% of all gardening woes, wouldn't it?

    Someone should have thought of that.

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    children have needs?

    I spent a wonderful week up in Tahoe with just my little guys. It was so fun and so exhausting at the same time. This little guy needed some serious mommy time that week. 

    His most used word of the week? (Whining isn't a word, otherwise it would have won.)


    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Hey Christian: Online Treasure Hunt

    Your first clue: In honor of your work... I'd +1 that.

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    design star

    Christian is the TV watcher in our relationship. But every once in a while we find a show that we both really like. We just rediscovered that we both like Design Star. I have trouble just sitting around watching TV. I always have to be doing something else at the same time.

    (On a related note: we went to our church's temple in Oakland on Saturday, and I realized there as well that cannot sit still. Everyone in the room was sitting still the entire time, but I was fidgeting non stop. Can someone tell me what's wrong with me?)

    Back to watching TV. While multitasking during Design Star, I came across these gems:

    Reclaimed wood stairs. Love.

    Love this floor!

    I remember seeing this on a blog recently, but came across it again. I want a bunch of rock pillows for the boys' room!

    Good luck ever getting me to paint hard wood floors (I have a hard time messing with wood), but this is great.
    I'm actually supposed to be doing out finances right now. "Can't sit still. Must multi-task at all times (i.e. can't concentrate). Procrastinates." Hmmmm. I should probably figure that out.

    You're my favorite.

    It's true. Happy 8th, bff.

    PS--This treasure hunt took me FOREVER to create and took you a couple of minutes to finish. Kind of like Thanksgiving dinner, no? Totally worth it.

    Treasure hunt started here:

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Hey blog stalker!

    Hey Heather: If I had known I had blog stalkers, I wouldn't have gone a month without posting! ;) Sheesh. It's a good thing I know now.

    Can you guys believe I just went over a month without posting anything on here? That is just unacceptable. Have I turned into one of those bloggers?

    So for your viewing pleasure, I present you with my life in pictures. Aproveche.

    I've started making smoothies in mason jars, thanks to this post by Cheri.

    Found a salamander in the back yard. Graham kissed it.

    Enjoyed the back yard. I'm surprised Graham isn't naked in this picture.

    Yep. Naked.

    Homemade yogurt seems to be best when it's blue and all over your face.
    Four different parks in my first couple of weeks of part time. Had to make up for lost time.

    Rode the train with the boys.

    Meals served in cupcake tins. My husband is a genius.

    Farewell party at my old job. This is the view of the back seat on the way home.

    Early morning run to the park. Note the pajamas.

    Rode Amtrak from Emeryville to Truckee. It was wonderful.

    Even my phone couldn't make this view look bad.

    Christian's dream job.

    Definitely a pro. Just don't put him next to Tyler's kids.

    Smallest putter ever.

    Love this boy.

    Took a Mandarin class. Didn't learn a thing.

    Graham suddenly decided he liked his bike (thanks to Grandma Chris!) and immediately decided he's a mountain biker.

    Went ollalaberry picking today. So fun.

    Don't let the juice fool you. He doesn't believe in eating fruit. Just smashing it.

    The lovely Carly helped me chase the boys around.

    Could these three be any cuter? Kai Kai is a common name around our house.

    The end.