Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Throughout the summer and fall season, I'll be guest blogging over at Gardenaut, a blog for all things garden related. 

Today my first post went up!  Woot!  Check it out :)

And stop by frequently.  The posts are about everything you could imagine involving gardening and the outdoors.  Variety a plenty.

Review: Tempur-Pedic Pillows

If you were to walk into our bedroom, chances are, (after you finished being appalled by the stacks of clean laundry sitting on my dressers), you'd notice that we have a ridiculous amount of pillows on our bed.  We have flat pillows, puffy pillows, king pillows, standard pillows, feather pillows, and down pillows.  And our latest additions:

The Tempur-Pedic ComfortPillow and the Tempur-Pedic NeckPillow.  

And you'd notice that they're both on Shaun's side of the bed.  Because he hijacks them. 

I was given the opportunity to review the pillows and jumped at the chance.  Space foam?  Sure!  I'm all about it!  The pillows arrived in the mail and I tore into the packaging and collapsed onto the couch with one under my head and one in my arms.  (I couldn't use them at the same time, but I wanted them to feel my love). 

The pillows, when unwrapped from their plastic, emitted a foam-y odor that bugged me. I looked into their information packet and noted that I needed to air them out for a few days and the odor would disappear.  I was a bit disappointed I wouldn't be able to sleep on them that night, but did as they instructed and within a few days, the pillows were odor free.

My first experience with the pillows was a lengthy nap on my couch with the ComfortPillow while the girls were sleeping.  It took me a little while to get used to having the pillow conform to my head.  If you want to readjust and get into a different position, the pillow needs a second before it molds to your head again.  But the wait was worth it.  I loved the feeling of perfect support without having to wrestle with the pillow to get that effect.  After I got the rest of my body in position, it was easy to totally relax. 

The ComfortPillow is definitely more like a traditional pillow in both size and squishiness.  (That is totally a technical term).  The NeckPillow is a bit of a different feel.  It's made of a single piece of Tempur-Pedic foam vs. micro-cushions as in the ComfortPillow.  The NeckPillows are sized to fit your body type.  This makes the NeckPillow a bit firmer, but it offers a more specific function than the ComfortPillow so the firmness is necessary.

I found the NeckPillow wonderful for side sleeping.  I always have a bit too much padding or not enough when I sleep on my side with a traditional pillow.  (Or three).  I'm traditionally a stomach sleeper, but being nearly 30 weeks pregnant, it's kind of impossible to sleep on my stomach, so I go to my side by default.  This pillow allowed me great support without being overkill.  When you're pregnant and everything hurts by morning, it's nice to eliminate one realm of discomfort. 

Between the two, both Shaun and I favor the ComfortPillow for its versatility.  It's a traditional pillow without all of the problems that traditional pillows often have, (lack of support, too much support, too soft, too firm, etc.).  It allows the user to sleep on their side, back or stomach, which is good if you tend to change positions throughout the evening. 

 I found the NeckPillow FANTASTIC for car trips.  We drove 16 total hours to and from North Carolina a few weeks ago and that pillow saved my sanity.  I curled up in the back of the van and crashed for hours at a time. 

Overall, we're totally fans of the pillows.  We like the feel of having our heads and necks totally supported without having to do a bunch of acrobatics to try and get into a comfortable position.  I think we're both sleeping well, but considering how much we both love sleep, this isn't too much of a change. 

I would suggest testing the pillows out either in a local store or from a friend before you buy one as they are vastly different than a normal pillow.  But I think that after trying them, you might also entertain thoughts of wrapping your entire house in Tempur-Pedic foam. 

(I really think this would be a fantastic idea). 

Friday, May 22, 2009


  • Check out this cool towel/bag.  I totally dig multi-purpose stuff and this one?  Cute too.  (via swissmiss)
  • My newest obsession in house-cleaning products.  This stuff is amazing, all-natural, and smells delightful.  The All-Purpose Cleaner totally smells like Fruit Loops.  (Or lemons).  J.R. Watkins.  Can be found at Target!  Woot!
  •  Where do you end up on the parenting spectrum?  OCD or totally cavalier?  Check out these parents' perspective and evaluate where you stand. 
  • An interesting article about hand-washing.  Makes me feel a bit better when my 1 year old eats dirt.  All in the plan, obviously.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009


At three and a half, my oldest girl is decidedly girly.  And despite our best efforts, she hates bugs.  HATES 'em.

But apparently, if they have fur, they're alright.

And you know, so long as she doesn't start bringing home hairy spiders and asking if they can stay in her room as a pet, I think we're ok there.

(Because Mama is brave and doesn't really mind an occasional spider,  but hairy ones?  Um, they can stay outside, mmmkthanks).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On The Mend

I've been feeling progressively better each day since getting some good meds.  I'm not a medicine taker by nature, and especially when pregnant or nursing.  But oh man, these are magic pills.

Combine that with being done with teaching for the year and I'm feeling pretty good about the impending summer to come.

I'm looking forward to days outside, running around with my girls.  Well, I'll jog...  or walk kinda fast... running doesn't happen anymore.  Oh, and I guess C needs to hustle up with the walking before she tries running... hmm.

We'll eat popsicles, sit in the pool, (oh man, I just typo-ed that as "poop"... please don't let that be a harbinger of things to come.  I'd much rather sit in a pool thankyouverymuch), and play on the swings.

I'll spend hours organizing in prep for the little man, (yet unnamed), to come at the end of July.  I'm oddly looking forward to this.  Poor Shaun, it's going to get bad.  Just wait.

And on some days, we'll stay in our PJ's and have picnics on the front lawn.  (Never say we're not the quirky neighbors).

Life is good.  Very, very good.  :)

Monday, May 18, 2009


I've been alternating between feeling completely miserable and feeling moderately crappy lately.  At first, I blamed it on the kidney stone, but those symptoms seemed to dissipate somewhat and were replaced with weird flu-like symptoms like body aches and extreme fatigue after doing the smallest tasks.

Like you know, taking care of my kids. 

Then the awful lower back pain came back and I questioned whether the kidney stone really left or merely went into hiding. 

In short?  I felt terrible more often than not and since the kidney stone wasn't appearing, the pain wasn't regular, and I never got a fever, I assumed it was just my third pregnancy kicking my butt.

And that in turn made me an emotional mess.  The idea that I would have to survive two and a half more months feeling like this, (and I assumed it would only get worse), made me feel absolutely helpless.

Today, a nurse from my doctor's office called with results from some routine testing they did the last time I was in.  Turns out, I have a kidney infection, a bladder infection and am anemic.

Well, no wonder my body is in rebellion.  I'm relieved that there's a reason for all or most of what's been going on.  And supremely relieved that I'll probably feel at least a little bit better with some treatment, and as a result, I'll probably have a whole lot more fun parenting my kids since I won't perpetually feel like a truck hit me.  (I don't think it's going to do much for me feeling like a house, but that's to be expected). 

I've got antibiotics, iron rich vitamins and cranberry juice.  And since I can hopefully assume that I won't be feeling this poorly forever, I can actually sit and rest instead of pressing on through the awfulness thinking that it was just something I'd have to get used to for the course of the pregnancy. 

I'm also scheduling a renal ultrasound to double check for more kidney stones and an appointment with a urologist to ensure this doesn't happen again.

Anyway, after a few days of rest, hopefully I'll be feeling good enough to join in life again.  Or at least chase my kids around without needing a six hour nap after 10 minutes of play.  If I can manage that?  I'll be feeling pretty good.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tacit Simplicity - Caterpillars

Thursday, May 14, 2009

She's Going To Have To Get Over It

C's my little dare devil.  If she needs to get down off of the couch and I'm not fast enough?  She gets down on her own, falls, and wants to do it over again. 

Even before she started taking steps, she was a climber.  Yesterday, she climbed up the side of a small play set on our front deck and managed to slide herself down.  I'm not sure Bean did that until she was two.

But the girl hates grass.

She has grass-phobia. 

 We're trying to get her acclimated through the immersion method.

She's not amused.

I never realized how powerful a 1 year old's ticked off face could be.  Hers is a good one.  Look at that disdain.

And despite our best efforts...

She still hates grass.  Loves the outside, but hates grass.  Hey, we're working on it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Channeling Cheech. Or Chong?

Bean was in a particularly crazy mood the other day, bouncing around the house like a ping-pong ball and generally being very silly.

She paused in her ping-ponging and disappeared into her play kitchen area.

Thirty seconds later, she came running out with a hot pink soup tureen on her head and started shouting,

"I'm a pot-head!  I'm a pot-head!"

I love kids.  She had no idea why we were laughing our heads off but joined in, just the same.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Didn't Get Eaten By North Carolina, I Promise

We just got back from a lovely weekend away and I'm playing catch up. 

And fighting another kidney stone.

And dealing with a baby who is throwing her sleep schedule to the wind.

And soaking up sunshine outside.

And wrapping up the school year for my class.

And taking lots of pictures. 

And eating an inordinate amount.

So, with that being said, I'm hoping to be back to regularly scheduled bloggy-ness tomorrow.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Walk Through Our Garden

When we moved, we inherited a lovely set of flowering bushes and plants all over our property.  Considering that neither Shaun nor I are master gardeners, it's been an adventure in discovery as things randomly bloom throughout the spring and the summer.
The first to bloom in our yard have been the Bleeding Hearts.  I know they have a different name, but I haven't bothered to look it up.  These are probably my favorite.  I love the delicate drop off of the flower.  And if you catch them after it rains, the waxy leaves bead the water into crystal clear drops that fall off in every direction at the slightest touch.
We also have a huge lilac bush that our other neighbor claims is blooming for the first time in years.  Apparently, they hacked the crud out of this one and never let it get big enough to bloom.  The flowers aren't much to look at, but they smell absolutely heavenly.  Funny, too.. right before they bloomed, I told Shaun that I wanted a lilac bush for my birthday.  The smell!  Oh, my. YUM.
Azaleas have been in every yard I've ever lived in for as long as I can remember.  My grandparents had lovely azaleas in every color and we'd spend lazy spring days charming the blooms into makeshift flower crowns and dancing around the backyard.  Our yard has pink and red so far.  Bean was delighted with the pink tones and I offered to cut her a few sprigs for her room.  Unfortunately, her delight was short lived when she discovered the ants that they need to help them open.  I'm working on her, but she is hugely disgusted with bugs.
And of course, every yard has their share of dandelions.  The scourge of a fastidious lawn keeper, these are magic to the three year old.  Every year I wonder if the fascination with the little balls of puff with fade and every year I'm pleasantly surprised with the captivated expression on my girl's face as she dances around the blowing seeds.

For awhile, our yard was carpeted in tiny purple flowers.  I think they're violets, but the neighbors all call them Johnny-Jump-Ups.  To Bean, the yard was decorated just for her.  We couldn't come into the house or head out without her picking at least a few for me.  I can't deny that I was really sad when we finally cut the lawn and they disappeared.  Until next year.  Thankfully, a few rogue flowers popped up in our side beds and I'll be enjoying their rich color for awhile longer. 
 And these aren't in our yard, but tulips are my favorite, so I couldn't resist going across the street to take a few pictures.  The color in the inside of these flowers are astounding.  It's amazing to me that a flower with such a short life can be so filled with finely painted details.  The outside of the leaves remind me of fingerprints.
They make me happy, every one. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You Questioned The Feisty? Don't Question the Feisty.

C's always been a bit of a spitfire.  She's a charmer too.  So while she's grinning and waving and being utterly cute, I'll happen to mention that she can be a bit of a handful and people will give me the "uh huh, sure she is." 

She is, I promise.

Lately, we've been dealing with her super fast flipping skills when we're changing her diaper.  She's like a pancake gone crazy.  One second she's behaving nicely and grinning at you while you're changing the diaper, and the next, she's flopped over like a fish out of water, all of her limbs flailing about in an attempt to escape.  Changing table, floor, it doesn't matter. 

Tonight, Shaun was changing her diaper and she was attempting her usual flip and escape routine.  He finally got fed up with trying to diaper her while she was running away and put the top of his foot on her shoulder to hold her in place for the 12 seconds he needed to finish the diapering job.

She squawked for a second or two in protest, then turned her head and promptly bit Shaun on the toe.  And grinned. 

Feisty, that one... feisty.  

Monday, May 4, 2009

We Endevor To Instruct Them on All Things Useful

Our kids have a lot to learn in life.  How to count to 100, tie their shoes, say their name, learn to read... everything.

We're working through all of them, one by one. 

Oh, and how to give a wet willy.

Bean was instructed in the appropriate methodology of wet willy-ing and was sent to sneak up on her unsuspecting Daddy.

She stuck one finger in her mouth, ran up behind him, and stuck the finger of her OTHER hand in his ear while shouting, "WET WILLY!"

Apparently, we need to work on the technique a little. 

Obviously, we are vastly concerned with the refined things in life. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tacit Simplicity - Take 2

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Human Baby Would Be Fine, Thanks

I'm the mother of girls.  Two rosy, beautiful, hilarious girls.  And I love every ounce of it.

When I started sharing that I was pregnant with my third, the exchange usually went something like this,

"I'm having another baby!"

"Oh!  Congratulations!  Hoping for a boy?"

"We'd be excited with either," I'd say flatly.

When we found out that our third was, in fact, a boy, the chorus of "You're getting your boy!  Congratulations!" and "I bet you're so excited you're getting a boy this time!" only grew louder.

It happened every time we told someone.  It still happens when we tell someone for the first time.  And it's driving me insane. 

I read an interesting article this week by Amy Wilson. Her situation was in reverse of mine.  The mother of two boys, she becomes pregnant again and is suddenly confronted with everyone from family to strangers making comments such as the ones I received. 

She remarks on why the comments bothered her as much as they did, 
I know these people are just making conversation. But this constant assumption leaves me a little offended. What's wrong with boys? Why wouldn't I want another one? It bothers me that people assume I feel incomplete without a daughter, let alone that it's my motivation for being pregnant with a third child in the first place.
Indeed.  What's wrong with girls?  Why is it assumed that our family is not whole without the addition of a boy?

I'm comfortable as a mom of girls.  I know how to style hair.  I can effectively work pink into any outfit my pink-obsessed daughter wants to wear.  I cherish watching her love on her baby dolls.  And while I know that a boy can be or do anything a girl can and vice-versa, there's something inherently girl about well, girls. 

It's not that I don't want a boy.  I'm excited to head off into that uncharted territory.  But had the sonogram revealed that this baby was going to be a girl, I would have been bouncing off the walls in excitement just as much as I was when we heard the boy news. 

Admittedly, when I found out baby #3 was a boy, I was awash with a considerable dose of apprehension.  I was the mother of girls.  Not boys.  I have two girls with girl clothes and girl hair and girl parts.  I got that.  I mastered that.  (Heck, I was a girl once, too).  Boys?  Not so much. 

They're rough and tumble.  They're constantly on the go.  They are always into mischief.  They pee on EVERYTHING.   They have boundless energy.  They have boy bits.  They're just so... boy.

But as time goes on, I'm more and more excited about the adventure the little guy is sure to bring.  And I'm sure he'll complete our family in his own special way.  But it's not on the merit of his boy-ness. 

Wilson's closing says it best,
I've started telling strangers and basking in their excitement. Yesterday, a security guard asked if I knew what I was having. "I have two boys at home," I said. "This one's a girl."
She inhaled sharply, then smiled, ruefully: "I just had my third. All three boys. You are so lucky." "Thank you," I said, though I still don't really get it. I'm counting on all these people being right: that when I meet this daughter and look in her eyes, I will understand why everyone else so wanted this for me.
And maybe in the same way, when they place my boy on my chest minutes after he's born and I look at his chubby little face, maybe I'll understand too.  
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