Thursday, June 27, 2013


I've started to read World War Z. I thought it sounded exciting. But it's scary. Maybe not as scary as the previews for the Brad Pitt movie, but still pretty freaky. Had a little trouble sleeping last night and began wondering if I should just stop reading it. Then, after breakfast, I saw a cockroach and was not nearly as freaked out as usual. I guess when you're scared of zombies, it puts everything else in perspective.

So this morning, I began thinking through what I would do in the case of a zombie invasion. Sound ridiculous? Absolutely. But it's good to be prepared. With a little knowledge, you can avoid the major pitfalls that resulted in mass casualties is the book. So, if you don't know anything about zombies- you should do a little research. It may just save your life in the event of an invasion of the undead.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Natalie Destruction

My sister has been doing some saving with coupons. She asked me a question about stuff that I get for free and it made me realize that I haven't been sharing my recent hauls! 

Ususally, Natalie is such a handful at the grocery store that by the time I get home, I'm more relieved to be done than I am excited about what I've scored. Seriously- we've had 3 on-the-floor, all-out tantrums at the store in the past 6 days. I break my shopping down into small trips so that I don't try her patience too hard, but it seems lately as if she knows as soon as we get out of the car, "Oh! Yeah! This is the place where I freak out!" I try to talk to her about what I'm buying and let her hold things. I try letting her stand in the cart, I try holding her. It seems that the only way to push through is usually to throw her over my shoulder as she screams and thrashes, sprint up and down the aisles to grab what I need and get to checkout as quickly as possible.  She is infinitely better when she is in her stroller and I walk to the store, but that is hard to do in the heat of the afternoon. I can't take her in the morning because she will doze on the walk, then refuse to take a nap, then be falling apart by 4pm. It makes us both really angry, so morning walks are out.

This is what I got for $14.20 this morning at CVS ($5.59 of which was tax). Shelf price was over $130,  then took off about $30 for sales prices, $40 for in-store cash deals (e.g. buy $30 of huggies, get $12), and the rest was a mix of store and manufacturer's coupons.

I got:
6 Jumbo Packs Huggies Diapers
4 Colgate Toothpaste
4 Colgate Mouthwash
2 Johnson&Johnsosn Baby soap

I came downstairs this morning to find her ripping up the Book of Mormon Stories book that I left out from FHE last night. I took the book and, when she cried, gave her a coloring book, which she promptly set about ripping up. I'm sure she was inspired by Lee Krasner and intends to collage the pieces of her old artwork to make new and interesting pieces.

Also, after precariously climbing a pushed-in chair to play at the table, the chair fell over and she found herself clinging to the table for dear life. Naturally, instead of running to her rescue, I grabbed the camera.

So much destruction, so many injuries, and it's only midday!

Monday, June 24, 2013


Working on saying her cousin's name

A massive evil spider spun its web right in front of our kitchen window. This was unacceptable to me.

Natalie is forever trying to climb on the table. I try to keep it empty now so that she has less incentive- no interesting off-limits stuff to grab- but it only deters her a little. I set the table the other day and she pulled down the plate I made at a ceramic painting place and came and threw it at my feet. I stared down at her, blinking in shock and she, with a look of determination, picked it back up and slammed it back down on the tile, where it shattered. It was hard not to feel hurt and angry. Just seemed so deliberate! 

We are quickly running out of surfaces that she can't reach, so she better learn the meaning of "no" soon!

In other news, I finished these paintings for a little non-curated show at the art center where I did ceramics. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Charlotte and Back

I've been catching up recently after some travel and then hosting.

A week and a half ago, we visited Charlotte to celebrate my nephew's high school graduation. My mom was in town and Micah had to get back to school Monday, so Micah left me with my mom while headed back to Atlanta. We checked out a really cool children's museum in Charlotte- less than half the admission price as the Atlanta Children's Museum and probably as much, if not more, fun. They had a bunch of aquariums that Natalie enjoyed-with convenient steps going up to the glass so that kids could see up close. Then there was a super sweet young kid area with tons of displays- a 5 foot tall lite-brite with 6-inch colored pegs, obstacle courses and jungle gyms, even a massive water table with water guns and toys! Natalie had a lot of fun there and soaked herself silly, even though she was wearing a waterproof apron. She was so cold , I took off her pants and let her enjoy the rest of our visit in a diaper and shirt, making me feel like a major redneck. The next day we went to Hendersonville, NC, where my mom has a job application in. It was a very nice little city, about 30 minutes from Ashville. Then my mom came home with me and stayed for a few days.

This week I have been using all my free time to read a book for my book club called State of Wonder- a fiction about some scientist studying a tribe in the Amazon in which women have babies into their 70s and never experience menopause.

For Father's Day, I got Micah a desk so soon he'll have his fancy new desktop computer running and functional. I'm still not sure why he needed it and what he's going to do with it, since we have 2 laptops already. Also, we are moving into the smartphone world. I believe that we should be fully using our smartphones by the end of the month so we can cancel our AT&T phone.

I made some really good banana bread last week (the recipe called for yogurt- kept it very moist) and some super yummilicious rosemary parmesan bread this week that was a total experiment. I have been dramatically going back an forth between working hard to put together decent meals and not wanting to be in the kitchen at all. Maybe it has to do with the fact that ANY TIME I GO TO THE KITCHEN NATALIE STARTS SCREAMING AND CRYING AND HANGING ON ME. Ahem. It's becoming a bit irksome.

She continues to be a handful during meals. Lately, Sammy has been getting sick a lot from all the people food. The other day, he threw up 3 times, then immediately turned from his puke, darted under the highchair and swallowed a piece of french toast that Natalie had dropped whole. I'm not sure what to do to get her to stop dropping or him to stop devouring food. I may have to just keep him behind a gate while she's eating.

I also enjoy the continual frustration of guessing what she will or will not enjoy eating. She may beg for cereal one morning, then refuse to eat any the next. She loves fruit, but is sometimes more interested in chewing on the dish in which it is served.
I can see why so many parents just feed their children macaroni and cheese.

We went to get new toys for Natalie at the thrift store and walked out with 8 or 9 toys that cost less than one of them would have been at Walmart. Here, she shows her stacking cups to Sammy.

In other major news, we no longer have kids channels in our cable package, so Natalie is learning to like curious george and sesame street because that's what's on Netflix. We changed plans to one with less TV and faster internet speeds but so far, our internet speeds have been even slower. Unfortunately, Micah spent over 2 hours total trying to change, so it may take a while to get ahold of them and complain.

Natalie loves to swim. It's been raining a lot in the past week, but she is so happy when it's sunny and we visit the pool. We found a really cool splash park in Roswell where our playgroup met last week and I was so proud of Natalie. She ran right out there and played with the fountains and didn't mind all the other kids at all.

Last but not least, I got a voice message late last night about a job interview. Tried to call back today but no one answered. I'll call again tonight if I don't hear from anyone. A very small job, but it would be something at least!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Keep On Keeping On

I've received some criticism for not updating for a while. 8 whole days! Sheesh.

For your information, I have been very busy lately!

I've been doing some wildlife observation

Baking this rockin' sandwich bread, recipe found here.

But, mostly, I've just been dealing with situations like this. Yes, that is dog food and, no, the dogs had nothing to do with it.

Natalie has been as whiny as ever in the last week- probably coming down off the high of visiting the cousins.  This weekend, we'll get to go be around more new people and places as we visit Chere's family to celebrate Tyler's graduation from high school. We're leaving Saturday and coming back Sunday, so it will be a short trip and I am anticipating lots of tears in the car. Natalie HATES car rides, so we may just have to turn her car seat forward-facing so that she can be somewhat occupied and entertained by the new view. It's legal after 1 year but not recommended until 2 years. 

I've been searching for and applying for jobs. It's hard because I don't have enough consecutive time to devote to the endeavor to make much progress. I search one day during Natalie's nap and then when I go the next day during her nap to apply, the posting is already removed. So far, I have only managed to apply to one position that I was interested in applying for because the others disappeared so quickly. I doubt I will end up with a job- after all, I'm competing for a very limited number of part-time teaching positions against people who have more recent experience and are searching for work full-time. Plus, I'd have to very carefully consider accepting any job I was offered because most part-time jobs would cost rather than earn us money, after the expense of childcare and gas and raising our total income enough to pay taxes, etc.
But even if nothing comes of it, when I asked a friend from church (primary president) if she would mind being a reference for my time in nursery (the ONLY relevant work I've done in the past 2 years), she said to let her know in the fall if I might be interested in a babysitting swap- her husband is a grad student and so they need a babysitter while he teaches. If nothing else, I could swap one day of babysitting per week and spend the time doing artwork, exercise, doing some volunteer work at the dog shelter- whatever. Anything but sitting around while Natalie cries and hangs on me for hours at a time.

Natalie is so bored with this place and so bored with me. She freaks out to watch TV, which I try to avoid having on during the day. We do a weekly play group and go swimming and try to get out, but we just don't have that much to do and it sucks.