New Blog

I just want to let you know that I am done having so many Japanese comments posted on our blog and have switched to a new one.  I'm hoping that this will do it - the change is better explained on the new one.  So change the first part of the address to stanleypie and you will find us there.  If those instructions are too vague, contact me and I will let you know what it is.


Maiby's Stuff

I don't like the formatting of the pics - it's changed from what it once was, and now it's a lot more difficult for me to place them where I want them, and there's always too much blank space.  Darn it.  but on to the posting...

Here is Maiby 'making a monster' with her pj's.  She likes to make monsters several times a week, either before changing into pj's or when she has picked her clothes out before we come in to get her in the mornings.

The other night, she wanted to put on a 'show'.  She lined the kid chairs up and put some dolls on them, and then made sure she had her mommy & daddy's attention and then started drumming on a few different toys.  I didn't take a video, but the picture can give you the basic idea.  It wasn't very long each time - she is a lot more embarrassed about things when Daddy's around and would only drum one or two times.

And here she is as an elephant.


Small Game of Catch-Up & Big Changes

Well, things are still going great here in Michigan.  We love our new apartment, and James is enjoying his job.  And the more I get to know them, the more I like them, too.

Here is a surprise that James received from his work a few days before he started:

And on his first day, he brought home a baby blanket personalized with Scout's name and date of birth. 

We have found a great beach at Tunnel Park, and Maiby LOVES the water, even though it's been around 60 degrees each time we've gone in.

Here's a picture of our happy baby, learning to laugh.  It's super cute.
As for the change I mentioned, this is the before:
Here's the in-between:
And the end result!

Oh, and this is why they say not to keep bottled hair dye around for too long.  We are just glad that we weren't at church when the bottle of BLUE dye exploded in the bathroom, so we were able to clean it up right away.  This is the ceiling.


Terms of Endearment

In the past few months, Maiby has started calling a lot of people 'honey.'  At first, I tried to get her to stop, because it was mainly me and it was a little bothersome.  But then she started using it for a lot of people, especially when she wanted to know what was going on.  "Whatcha doing, honey?" or "Whatcha need, honey?"  Then it started getting pretty cute.

It's on longer honey, now, and I'm not sure how I feel about my 2-year-old calling me "babe".



So we have had internet at our place for about a week now, and it's great.  But it has one major flaw - we get kicked off ALL THE TIME!!  We are using a router, so we thought that maybe the concrete walls were interfering, even though there aren't doors between where the everything is set up, but even when we directly connect the computer to the modem it still kicks us off. 

The point of me writing this is to let you know that I am reading my friends' blogs and trying to comment, but more than half the time they won't load (or load without the pics and background), and then they won't load correctly so I can't leave comments when I try.  So congratulations to my friends who announced their upcoming third child, hooray to those who are moving closer to home, the Cirque du Soleil date sounded like a blast - I love those guys (we saw Mystere in Vegas), and I am enjoying a lot of other things that I've been reading.

I will keep trying and if we continue to have problems, we will be contacting our server or switching to another company...


We Love it Here!

We have really been enjoying getting settled here in Michigan...but the humidity takes a lot of getting used to; it's like going to a sauna fully dressed when you go outside.  Some days are better than others, but we are hoping to adjust before too long.

So the trip here was pretty good.  Thank you to all those who helped James pack up the truck - he said it was quick and easy.  We spent the first night out in Billings, Montana at the Country Inn & Suites.  It was the BEST hotel of the trip, and also the cheapest.  I would definitely stay at that location again - there were free cookies, it was really nice everywhere, the beds were SO comfy, the staff was great, and the free breakfast had a lot of variety. 

Then we drove and drove again. 

NOTE: If you ever drive through North Dakota, stop at a rest area even if you don't need it.  They are the nicest I have ever seen!!  They were all clean, smelled good, automatic, and most were inside a very nice air conditioned building.  And my mom talked to a lady who was cleaning one of the ones that were pretty average, and she cleans them 3 times a day!  That is not a job I would enjoy - it's hard enough to clean my own bathroom.

We stayed in Jamestown, North Dakota and then Tomah, Wisconsin the next two nights.  Nothing too superb or spectacular, although we did find a mexican restaurant that we will not be going back to...it was not good. 

We stopped in Chicago and visited with my aunt and cousin for a short time, and then got back on the road so we could pull into our apartment complex with just enough time to sign the lease before she closed the office for the night. 

Our apartment is pretty nice.  We have 3 bedrooms, an attached garage, and laundry just off the kitchen.  I really like it.  There are a few things that are not my favorite, though: carpet in the kitchen (at least it's industrial-type and not plush), the bathroom sinks are too low and I have to bend down to wash my hands, and they are constructed of concrete & some of the rooms don't have much padding under the carpet, so you can't stand there for too long.  Also, the tub is a little smaller than our last place.  But it's bright and clean and we get a lot of natural light all day.  And we overlook a pond and can listen to frogs croak all night.  James made a good choice of a place to live.

And we are ALMOST done unpacking...I opened all of our book boxes today and started sorting through which ones to keep packed (like my yearbooks) and what to put out on the shelves.  Hopefully that will be completed tomorrow.  And I found the iron, so I can start sewing again.  Woohoo!!  We still have 3 or 4 boxes in our bedroom and then need to finish working in Scout's room and then we are pretty much done.  It's pretty nice to not be looking at a tower of boxes in the living room, especially after having them in our last place for a couple months before we moved.

And we have enjoyed our ward - they are very welcoming and excited to have us here.  And Maiby had fun in nursery her first week, which is a big plus.  She played with the kids and wasn't too scared to just be dropped off right away.  Hooray!

So that's the catching up from us for our first week and a half here.  James started work yesterday and has enjoyed it so far, but it's mainly paperwork and safety stuff. 


We Made It

So we pulled into our new apartment complex in Michigan with just enough time to sign the lease before the office closed.  And we had great help unloading the truck on Saturday.

But there is NO WAY we would have survived the trip (make that me, since James spent the whole trip in the truck) without the two angels known as 'Mom/Grandma' that came with us to help with the girls.  Thank you!


I Can't Believe It

It's only a few more days until my years in Moscow end.  I am a little sad about it, but the excitement of what is awaiting us is more powerful.  I leave on Sunday, after spending 10 years here.  I NEVER thought I would end up being here this long - it's the longest that I've lived anywhere in my entire life!  I guess it's a good thing that I love it!

I moved to Moscow in 2000, as a 17-year-old college freshman, bright-eyed and eager for the opportunity to get a degree.  And now, I'm leaving as a 27-year-old wife, mother, and recipient of a bachelor's and a master's degree. 

It's hard to believe that so many things happened first here in Moscow - kissing a boy, cutting my own hair, living on my own, bouncing a check (luckily that's the only one), having a cell phone, James proposed here, and we have lived in 3 different places around town, 2 kids born here. 

I love the way the town changes with the seasons - in the fall, the roads are crowded and it takes forever to get anywhere.  In winter, there are big berms down the middle of the road from the snow.  In the spring, people head outside and the frat boys on campus get out the kiddie pools, and then summer comes and the population seems to drop by more than half as so many students leave town.  I will miss living in a college town; there are so many things to do, and many of them are not too expensive. 

And I met a ton of great people and made great friends - some I lived with, some I knew at school, and some at church.  And so many of them have impacted my life in great ways - they don't even know. 

So thanks for the memories, Moscow!  I will miss you.  And hopefully we will make it back sometime to enjoy a burger at Zip's!!


Free Float Tube

Is anyone in Moscow interested in a float tube?  We tried to sell it on craigslist a while ago, but no one was interested.  And we don't really want to move it (again).  So if you want it, please call or email me and it's yours!


Free Money

Looking for a chance to win $1000?!  Go to Dave Ramsey's website here and register - he's giving away $1000 every day this month.

Good luck!



Here she is, in all of her 7 lb, 14 oz glory! 

And what a good big sister!


It's Here!

We have a new daughter!  She was born early Friday morning and we named her Scout. 

Pics and such to come soon...after I find the camera cord.


It Doesn't Add Up

When I moved to Moscow in 2000, I started school at the University of Idaho planning on majoring in math.  That plan fell through and I ended up going in a totally different direction that was probably a lot more fun (credit for mountain biking and rock climbing - can't beat that!). 

But even though I didn't get a math degree, I still know that having contractions for 26 days + being 4 days overdue should equal a baby, not in yet another day of waiting. 

And waiting...

And waiting...



James and I went to the Student Achievement Awards for the University of Idaho tonight.  He had been nominated for two of the awards, but they don't notify the winners ahead of time, so we didn't know if he had won or not. 

He did!!  James won the Richard Gibb Award, which is given to an outstanding non-traditional student. 

Congratulations, James! 



I woke up this morning feeling a lot better - emotionally and physically.  We talked about the power of God yesterday in primary, and how prayer can help us feel that power in ours lives.  Thankfully, I did as we directed the kids to do, and it has made all the difference.

And a big Thank You! to the friend who left a treat on my porch today - a great surprise to find after our shopping trip this morning!



Some things in life are tough, and that's to be expected.  The difficulty I have, presently, is trying to figure out what it is I'm supposed to be learning right now as I am experiencing some rather unpleasant realities.  This morning as I was waiting for Maiby to finish her breakfast, I was looking through the Ensign and came across a great statement about trials.  It's the article entitiled "He Will Take Upon Him Their Infirmities" by Elder Jean A Tefan.

In it, he references a scripture in Alma 7 that is about Christ.  Verses 11 & 12 read: "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, tha the may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."  Elder Tefan then goes on to say that he read those verses in a time of trial and shifted the hurt and fear that he was experiencing to Christ. 

That is something that I have always had a hard time doing - I have been very independent since I was a small child, and it's hard to admit sometimes that I can't handle certain things (and I find that especially true when facing trials).  When I am suffering, more specifically right now, it's hard to remember that others have been through the same kind of thing.  But I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that Christ has been through it - he experienced this pain and suffering for me.  I am so thankful for His willingness to do that, and as I try to turn to heaven for the help I am seeking, I know I will find it.


What Makes Them Think It's Okay?

I am SO upset!!  Someone stole my dryer!

Don't people know that there are unwritten, but CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD rules when using a shared laundry area?  And that one is you don't steal a dryer that is currently in use?!!  Why would someone think it's okay to take my wet clothes out of a running dryer and put their own in?

It's not my fault they missed out on the 3 good dryers.  I took my laundry over and had to empty 2 washers in order to use them, but the clothes had been sitting for a little while - a little bit mildew-smelling.  So I put one in the laundry basket on the washer and one on the cleanest washer.  And, as always, set an alarm so I would pick up my stuff on time.  Then I went down and switched my laundry PROMPTLY (one washer was still spinning when I walked in) and used 3 dryers so I wouldn't have to go back after 1 cycle. 

But apparently someone had other ideas.  And I don't appreciate it.

If I were a big more vengeful, I might put their DRY clothes - that's the proof that they stole my 50 cents (the cycle had run its course when I went to pick up my stuff) - into the sink and fill it up. 

(un)Fortunately, I'm not that vengeful and venting here and later to James is the only payback I will give.

Piece of Junk!!



I just finished reading Dr. Laura's new book, In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms, and it is awesome!!  James and I made the decision before we got married that once we had kids, I would stay home, and we have been blessed to be able to do that.  But it's not always easy (as I'm sure you all know), and it's great to hear other people sing the praises of an often put-down way of life. 

I love being able to experience Maiby's life first-hand, and not have a day care worker, family member, or friend tell me the cute things she did that day.  On Saturday, we were hanging out at home and just enjoying spending time together.  James and I were on the couch talking and Maiby was playing with her toys.  One of her new favorite things is her 'list' - a small, 25-cent spiral notebook.  She is always drawing in it.  While we sat on the couch, Maiby came up and asked James if he wanted some soup (also a game she really enjoys, but that's another story), and when he said yes, she make a mark on her list.  She kept asking if he wanted something else and would make a mark each time he said yes.  Then she turned to me and started taking my order. 

If that food had been truly ordered at a restaurant, we would've ended up with some interesting combinations - soup, cornbread, chowder, sandwiches, cookies, and more (unfortunately, I was told that milkshakes were not an option).  It was so great, and without experiencing that first-hand, I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much as I do.

Read this book - if I could afford it, I would buy one for all the wonderful women in my life, but as it is, I got mine from the library, and the book is still terrific.



We use the word 'lucky' a lot in our house, and in a variety of ways.  Sometimes we use it in reaction to something that really is lucky, like getting a donut at the store; sometimes it's used sarcastically after something undesirable happens, like spilling dinner on your shirt.  The point is, we use it a lot.

Yesterday Maiby and I went shopping.  She is getting too tall for size 2 pants, and only had 2 pair of size 3, so we went looking for a couple more pairs.  We stopped at the mall first to check out prices and look for some deals, but the cheapest we found were still more than I wanted.  So off we went to Goodwill, where we bought 2 pair for $3 - what a deal!! 

We got back in the car and I told her we would go to one more store (another thrift store that I hadn't been to yet), and she asked if we were looking for more pants.  When I affirmed that we were, she said, "Lucky me, lucky me!" 

I hope she always has such a good attitude. 



Maiby and I spent most of last week at my mom's house. On Tuesday while Mom was at work, I made some rainbow cupcakes for her to take to her class for St. Patrick's Day. On Wednesday morning, Mom was frosting the cupcakes while Maiby and I ate breakfast. Maiby wouldn't eat much, so I was trying to coax her to have a little bit more.

Then my mom, the ever-loving grandma, asked if Maiby could have some "C-A-K-E," to which I immediately said no (it was WAY to early in the day) and Maiby prompty said, "Cake?!"

We were both amazed at her comprehension and it left my mom wondering if we would ever be able to spell words out while still trying to keep a secret from Maiby.


Anyone Up For the Bible?

So I just checked my email and then decided to look at the sites on my blog to see if there were posts to read by friends or others that I enjoy. I typed in my blog address CORRECTLY, and instead of That's Gross, Man coming up, I ended up viewing THIS site. I was quite confused and checked the address bar, which was correct. Talk about weird!!! So I refreshed the page and was directed to the correct page, with the familiar background and everything that I had been looking for.

Has this happened to anyone else?


Freebies for the Moscow Folks

We have about half of our stuff packed up ready for the move, and there are a few things that we are not wanting to take, so if anyone in Moscow is interested, feel free to come over/call/comment/email and take what you want. I put links to a few things so you have a better idea of what they are:

-- charcoal BBQ (it's black and about 3-4' tall)
-- 6' bookshelf - the walmart special my Freshman year of college

-- Rush Hour DVD

-- Hymns CD's 13-14 (has all hymns #292-341 words and music)

-- small red zippered purse

It's not much, but it's the stuff that's headed to goodwill that I thought someone might be interested in. We will have it for a little while, so if you need some time to think about it, no problem.


Wedding Bells In the Air

My little sister is getting married!
Congratulations on your engagement Stephanie!!


Making Rainbows & A Sad Day

We decided to make rainbows the other day. For each color, Maiby was given the choice of hearts or circles, and then chose where to put them - which is why her rainbow has a front and back.

And here's my rainbow, out of half circles:

As for the sad day mentioned in the title, I finished my sewing projects that I told James I NEEDED to get done, so I had to pack up my sewing machine until after we move. I'm a little disappointed, but it will be great to have that stuff out of the way in the living room!


Things I've Learned from a Big Girl Bed

So it's been a few weeks since Maiby started using her Big Girl Bed, and I have learned several things (I was thinking about this in the shower this morning, so I might not remember them all - that was a LONG time ago!).

-- It is possible for her to be happy all day without a nap.

-- Sometimes a nap in front of the door is better than no nap.

-- Maiby can take off her pj's herself and pick out her clothes before we come in her room.

-- She still needs help making the bed.

-- Her binky and bear are on the shelf before she picks out clothes - it's probably step 2 of her morning routine, after turning on the light.

-- Two weeks of not taking a nap takes it's toll on a little girl - she fell asleep in the car on the way home from church today and stayed asleep until we got in the house (she has not done that in well over a year!!)

-- There is hope that she will sleep in the car when we drive to Michigan WOOHOO!!

-- She just wasn't ready for a big girl bed when we tried before.

-- She loves the freedom.

-- We no longer need an alarm clock - she is up by 630 EVERY morning. And on days when we get up at 6, she's up & at 'em then, too.

--If I change my reading time to her quiet time, I can still read the scriptures every day; but remembering to do so is a problem again, since it's not first-thing.


How Do You Decide?

What makes you decide when you need to take your kid(s) in to see the doctor? Maiby wasn't feeling well at the end of last week, and I think she's a lot better, with just a small lingering cough now and then throughout the day - basically I don't think we need to worry about it. BUT other people are telling me that I should take her in. She never had a fever higher than 99, is still pretty happy all day even without naps, and snot is no longer running out of her nose constantly. Would you take her in? What is the criteria you use to decide?


Minor Disaster

Maiby and I went to visit my mom this weekend, since James had his Army stuff and I wasn't in charge of primary, even though she wasn't feeling too great since the middle of last week. She actually slept in the car on both drives, which hasn't happened in about a year, so things weren't too bad. Until she woke up on the way home, with about 30 minutes to go and decided that her new favorite phrase ("No, Mommy, no!") and screaming were the only acceptable options.

So we got home and went grocery shopping and then went to pick Daddy up from school, but he was staying late. And the second he told me that, I started crying. I'm blaming it on the hormones, but it wasn't very fun. I had been looking forward to seeing him and having some help with our recovering girl, but the two of us went home.

Before we went shopping, I had made some Crystal Light-type punch and it was sitting on the shelf in the fridge. When I was putting away the groceries, there wasn't enough room on the bottom shelf to put in the milk in the right spot after shopping, so I used the milk jug to push the butter over just an inch or two, and then...

red liquid EVERYWHERE!!

2 quarts (minus 1 1/2 glasses) makes quite the mess. It took 2 full-size towels and several paper towels to clean up the mess. I had been hoping that I wouldn't have to clean the fridge until just before we moved, but it's done! So I guess I can check that off the list, at least until May.

Luckily, as I looked at the red mess, I remembered a talk I heard year's ago at women's conference - there is a fine line between laughing and crying, and luckily I chose to laugh (but only in my head, because I still wasn't super happy). But it helped enough to put away the nagging thought of eating out that night.


Q & A's

So I have been trying to think of some things to blog about; there are always different ideas in my head that I think about putting down on here, but I am way too forgetful to get even half of them on here. So here's a series of questions if you are interested in knowing a little bit more about me...

1. What is my occupation right now? Mommy!

2. What color are your socks right now? A beautiful shade of Invisible

3. What are you listening to right now? Music coming from outside, The Net starring Sandra Bullock, and my dad's tv in the other room

4. What was the last thing you ate? A small slice of white cake

5. Can you drive a stick? Heck yes, thanks to my husband's teaching ability

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My husband

7. How old are you today? 27

8. What is your favorite sport to watch on tv? Figure skating

9. What is your favorite drink? Strawberry milk, Dr Pepper, raspberry-flavored Crystal Light

10. Have you ever dyed your hair? Once or twice - I have tried almost every shade of red and orange available at Walmart, as well as bleaching a few times

11. Favorite food? Cake dough; McDonald's; tacos

12. What is the last movie you watched? St Trinian's (very weird), unless you want to count The Net (but I am only half paying attention)

13. Favorite day of the year? April 25th - because it's not too hot, not too cold; all you need is a light jacket!

14. How do you vent anger? Clench my fists, cry, talk it out with someone - depends on the situation and the day

15. What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbie & GI Joe

16. Favorite season? Not winter

17. Cherries or blueberries? Cherries

18. Living arrangements? Townhouse

19. When was the last time you cried? Not long ago, and over something silly

20. What is on the floor of your closet? Boxes, boxes, and more boxes, and a large green tote

21. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Carl

22. What did you do last night? Stayed up too late doing nothing with my sister

23. What are you most afraid of? Disappointing James

24. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheese (BBQ sauce can't hurt, either!)

25. Favorite dog breed? The kind I don't have to own

26. Favorite day of the week? Depends on the week

27. How many states have you lived in? Five

28. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

29. Favorite flower? Gerbera daisy

30. Favorite song of all time? unsure - that is really tough to answer; it's probably country, though

31. Favorite book? Pride & Prejudice

32. Favorite color? Orange!

33. Favorite TV show? CSI

34. Name one thing on your bucket list? Drive an original hummer

35. Goal for 2010? Have a smooth move and settle in quickly

36. Favorite store to shop? Kohl's, Target, Walmart, Aeropostale

How about you?


My New BFF (for now)

I'm told to lay on my side, something about 'it's good for the baby' - but what about the pain in my belly?! It is so uncomfortable to sleep on my side because it needs support as it grows and grows without an end in sight.

And then the genius inside my head spoke up and said "Take Maiby's pillow!" Good idea, genius, because it is EXACTLY what I need. A regular pillow is too much, but this dolly pillow is perfection, and I am now sleeping much better.

Don't worry; Maiby doesn't know I took it, and she has another one that's identical, so everyone wins!


Big Girl & Valentine Cookies

We made pink sugar cookies yesterday to take to some neighbors, and we let Maiby decorate three with a little pile of frosting. She did pretty well, and then enjoyed them.

And she is now using a big girl bed! This is night #2...so it's still inconclusive. But her naps have been non-existent since earlier this week, so hopefully she gets used to it soon.

We got the bed from my aunt when she had a yard sale, and it came with a sheet set and a blanket, which you can tell she absolutely loves:



Don't forget - it's the cereal sale at Rosauer's! More than 14 different kinds, all for 1.69!!


Paper Snowmen

Three days a week I watch Maiby's friend while her parents are in class. The other day we decided to do a craft project:

I'm not sure if it was the same day or not, but I was sitting by James on the couch the other day and he said, "Oh, cool!" So I looked over to see what he was talking about, and he was happy that the backrest for one of Maiby's toys fit just right:
Never a dull moment around here, huh?


Nothing Much to Tell

Well we've had a lot of home time this past week; Maiby was a little sick starting on Friday, but is finally back to her usual happy self (hallelujah!).

I've just been packing boxes, sewing, and reading. I can't believe how slow-going Vanity Fair is - I've been reading it for a week and just hit the 100-page mark earlier today. Which leaves me about 600 more!! At least it's a good book, and Thackeray is a pretty entertaining author.

So that's the news on our home front.


Latent Talent?

I made a discovery a few weeks ago, a latent talent that is only doable during pregnancy...

I used to have a great belly - seriously, I loved it. Before Maiby was born, it was tiny and toned and I had a great innie/outie belly button. When I was pregnant with Maiby and my belly grew, my belly button never stuck out, but it did get as flat as it possibly could. It was a little strange looking. And as soon as she was born, it became an innie that never again saw the light of day.

Until I became pregnant again. Now, at 7 months, it is not flat yet or sticking out, but it's getting there. Back to the talent - the other day I was looking at my belly in the mirror and tried to see how far I could suck in my baby belly (last time no one knew I was expecting until 22 weeks because I didn't show much and could suck in what did show). And then I decided to try to push out my belly as far as I could, to see how big I could get.

Low and behold, I developed an outie! What did I do? Tried it again and then ran and found James to show him my new trick.

So now I can have a pregnant outie, but only occasionally; we'll see if it stands the last bit.


Feeling Great

Today I attended my first prenatal water aerobics class. It was so fun! I loved it! And it's not very pricey, either, which is great. If you're pregnant and live in the Moscow area, you should come. It's $25.50/month for 2 classes a week, 4-5 pm at the Gritman Wellness Center. I thought that I would be exhausted tonight, but I am actually feeling really good and am looking forward to Thursday's class.


Classic Books in 2009

I forgot about updating my book list on here, and I hunted it down this morning so I could post all the ones I read from it last year. It's mainly for my brother who gave me the list.

Mansfield Park -- Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey -- Jane Austen
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall -- Anne Bronte
Wuthering Heights -- Emily Bronte
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass & What Alice Found There -- Lewis Carroll
The Professor's House -- Willa Cather
Frankenstein -- Mary Shelley
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- Mark Twain
The Island of Dr Moreau -- H G Wells
A Christmas Carol -- Charles Dickens
Madame Bovary -- Gustave Flaubert
The Wind in the Willows -- Kenneth Grahame
The Scarlett Letter -- Nathaniel Hawthorne

and I attempted Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce, but it was TOUGH going, so I gave it up...it's written in a strange style and I had no idea what was going on after 30 pages. I will try it again someday.


So for some reason I was nominated for the Kreativ Blogger award from How to Become a Zombie in Two Easy Steps (thanks, Sun!); I'll tell you right now I feel she has earned the honor more than me. And as part of accepting the award, I am about to reveal 7 things you probably don't know about me.

1. I have learned to play many instruments in my life: alto sax, bassoon, clarinet, piano, organ, a little bit of guitar and flute.

2. I have had a variety of hair colors in the last 10 years. Anything from bleach blonde, orange, about 15-20 shades of red, pink, blue, green (when the blue was fading), and several shades of brown.

3. I have cut my own hair twice. From longer-than-my-shoulder to less than 4 inches. It's surprisingly freeing.

4. Cake dough is one of my favorite foods of all time; when I am not pregnant (because my husband gets mad about the raw eggs when I am), I tend to reserve almost 1 cup of dough to slurp in the 30 seconds after putting the cake in the oven.

5. I enjoy video games; I have beaten Super Mario Bros 3 on the regular nintendo (I didn't own one until I got married, so it's a relatively new feat), and have been thoroughly enjoying the New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii in the last month.

6. My second toe is longer than my big toe on each foot. It has always really bothered James. And to try to convince him that it was a positive feature about me, I made a powerpoint presentation soon after we started dating. It was about 10 slides long and full of pictures of my feet and other feet I found online that looked like mine. Great fun.

7. I have a master's degree. And the proof can be found on my diploma, which is hidden away in a box somewhere in our house; the plan is to frame it someday...

Now for my nominations (these are some of my favorite blogs), in no particular order:
1. K8 at the Foutch Coutch
2. Jade at Stellmon-sters
3. Jennifer The Craft Patch
4. Melissa at A Kiwi & an Eagle
5. Maaike at The Sixty Minky
6. Keri & crew at Sew Incredibly Crafty
7. Leslie & crew at Side Notes

And the rules for the seven of you are as follows:
1. Thank the person giving the award
2. Copy the award to your blog
3. Place a link to their blog
4. Name 7 things people don't know about you
5. Nominate 7 bloggers
6. Place a link to those blogs
7. Leave a comment letting them know about the award


Coincidence or Conspiracy?

When we got married, we were given a set of measuring spoons from two people. They were both nice and we liked the look of them, so we kept both. After realizing how convenient it was to use more than one set at a time after needing some from the sink, I opened the second one.

It wasn't long after that when I needed a Tablespoon for a recipe and grabbed one. It was bent at the handle, so I decided to gently bend it back. Unfortunately, as soon as I put a minor bit of pressure on the handle, it snapped off. Irreparably.

But we had a second set, so no big deal, right? Right. Until a few months after that we lost the other Tablespoon in an unfortunate incident with a disposal. Tragedy.

So we bought another set of measuring spoons, even though I know that 3 tsp = 1 Tbls, but it's so much easier to pour liquid from a big container (think milk or oil). And right before Christmas, our last Tablespoon attempted suicide. Luckily, James rescued it from the imminent disaster when he noticed something down the disposal. Take that rotten fate! We'll see if it survives the move in a few months...


Twiggle Box

Anyone interested in some inexpensive goodies for your little girls? Check out a new website:
They have tutus, headbands, hats, clips, and much more! The prices are amazing, and so are the owners.

Copy Cat

Maiby is getting really good at mimicking. A couple of days ago, James was rubbing my shoulders and since she wants to be involved in everything, Maiby came up and started rubbing my elbow with both hands. It was so sweet. And she's getting so much better at talking, too - it's so neat to hear a tiny little voice say "I love you" and to understand that she still doesn't get the difference between me/you when she talks. She is always saying "carry you?" when she wants me to pick her up.


Are You Prepared?

One of my favorite preparedness blogs is having a giveaway, and it is pretty good. If you are interested in getting your things in order in case of an emergency, check her out. She has easy-to-follow plans and ideas that take things just one step at at time. At the very least, head on over and enter the giveaway...

Totally Ready