Friday, July 27, 2007

Reunited, and it feels so good!

Tonight was night #1 of my high school class reunion 2 day event. More importantly to me, it was the dinner I had planned. It all went so well! It was so excited to see it all come together and everyone had such a lovely time.

It's so weird seeing all the boys I went to high school with all grown up though. They're all daddies and stuff. Together now, we are: missionaries, pastors, doctors, accountants, mommies, nurses, teachers, computer professionals, engineers, inventors, coaches...and I'm sure the list goes on. All in all, we turned out to be some pretty awesome kids. (Which we all knew 20 years ago!)

It's supremely cool to still be friends with and want to see the kids I knew 20 years ago. I'm so thankful that my parents decided to send me to a small, private, Christian school. I didn't see how valuable it was then. I went to high school with some of the highest quality individuals on the planet, I am sure of it. It rocked to see them again tonight!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Feed My Sheep

We took the Moose out to his first volunteer activity tonight. When we were dating and newlyweds, we did a lot of volunteer stuff to help the homeless, the hungry, the huddled masses yearning to be free and whatnot. One of our early dates was cooking Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter. Romantic, let me tell you. :) (Actually, that night was awesome, it was the first time hubby said the "L" word to me. The nice "L" word. Not the Showtime "L" word. Not that lesbians aren't nice, I'm sure they' Argh! HE SAID HE LOVED ME AND IT WAS AWESOME! Sheesh.)

*gracefully extricates self out of self-dug hole*

But since the baby came, volunteerism had somewhat fallen by the wayside, while still holding a strong place in our hearts.

Tonight there was a group meal packing activity at our church for Feed My Starving Children, a charity based out of Minneapolis. We, along with a lot of other volunteers, packed 27,000 meals in 2 hours! I wore Jackson on my back in the Ergo and he got his own hairnet. :) We would have taken photos, but we were kind of busy packing meals for starving children in Haiti.

We were the only fools who brought a baby to pack meals for the starving children of the world. Our idea was that we wanted Jackson to just be so used to giving to help the less fortunate that it's just part of life and not a special occasion. So we started him young, and we'll continue to bring him along so that giving back becomes just as normal and necessary to him as taking a bath or brushing his teeth.

The statistics on how many empoverished children die of starvation are absolutely staggering. Babies, just like yours and mine die every day because there is no food. It's heartbreaking. The work we did tonight will feed 74 kids for a year, they say. 74 Mooses. All I could do was hold my little boy and weep, while crying out prayers of thanks for everything we have.

Thank you, Father. Don't ever let me forget to thank You.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Holy Grail

I have been on the prowl for an earth-friendly automatic dishwasher detergent that works. The key words there are "that works". A lot of the "green" detergents don't clean very well or leave a skunky residue (and it doesn't matter if you use rinse aid, either!).

I was getting really frustrated, until I met Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets. They actually cleaned BETTER than my old Cascade powder! Consumer Reports has even tested them all side by side and they agree. Unfortunately, I ended up trying every single other "green" dishwasher detergent on the market before finding this little gem. I was getting so angry, because I was having to wash a lot of stuff twice. And really, how ecological is it to waste all that water washing things two times?

I love, love, love! this stuff. I will not be going back to Cascade again! Suck it, phosphates!

Monday, July 23, 2007


I just got my co-op order, and I am soooo delighted in my haul.

1) Seventh Generation unbleached, 100% recycled, min. 80% PCW paper products. For those not in the know, PCW is Post Consumer Waste. Here's the problem - we all put our excess paper in the recycling like good citizens. Then it goes to the recyclery. However, manufacturers typically use virgin wood/paper before they would recycled so then our recycled paper that we did the right thing by sorting and recycling ends up being....WASTE! This is the ugly side of recycling that nobody talks about. What can you do about it? Switch to products that use recycled paper, specifically PCW paper. Yes, it's a wee bit more expensive but it's one of those things that I pony up the pennies for based on principle. It's a tiny thing we can all do to make a difference in the world we are leaving our babies. If not you, who?

2) Honeybee Gardens Water-Based Nail Enamel. I can now paint my piggies in the same room as Jackson. It doesn't smell, goes on smooth, dries quick as a wink and removes with rubbing alcohol. No stinky nail polish remover required either. (In Orbit Gum Girl Voice) Fabulous!

3) Rescue Remedy. I gave 2 drops to the Moose today during his mid-morning meltdown. It was like diffusing a ticking baby bomb. He went from 100 to 0 in 60 seconds. (Orbit Gum Girl Voice again) Fabulous!

4) gDiapers! I didn't get these through my co-op, but oh how I wish I could! I instead got a free sneak-peek sample at the redesigned pants and oh me oh my am I head over heels in LOVE with them!!!! The old pants leaked on Jackson, and I posted them for sale on the gDiapers Yahoo! Group. The actual owner/founder of gDiapers emailed me privately apologizing for the difficulties I was having with her product, and offered to let me test prototypes of the upcoming improved version. I was ticked at the problems I was having, but absolutely TICKLED that a company would take my needs seriously. A few versions and several months later, the new design is here and I give it phat mad props all around! Super comfy leg gussets, super soft and stretchy waistband, softer and more breathable cover, better snap in liner, sweet new color palette, even a cute new print on the inside of the cover! I LOVE THEM! I had the opportunity to meet the founder of gDiapers that I had been corresponding with via email, Kim, on Saturday at the LaLeche League International Conference. It was a big warm fuzzy to see the person behind the product. Kim says they are now working on the release of an updated flushable insert design - just when I didn't think gDiapers could get any better. I am happier than a clam to finally bid my occasional use of Pampers adieu in favor of a more eco-friendly product. (Orbit Girl Voice) FABULOUS!

T.G.F.C. Thank God For Coffee!

Behold, the power of the bean...

I woke up so sleep-deprived and exhausted after a very bad baby night. 1 large Dunkin' iced later, I just semi-eloquently gave another interview to a newspaper regarding my activities and support for Republicans For Obama.

Jackson provided background music on his alligator xylophone. :)

I'm getting pretty good at these interviews, it's very exciting. I get so fired up when I talk about The Big O, I need a hit of my Rescue Remedy to bring myself down a notch. *pant pant pant*


Yesterday we met Jackson's BFF Josh and his parents and Grandma at the Morton Arboretum to take Josh's 1st birthday pictures. While there, we snapped a few shots of our little Moosie Man:

And the bland pasta last night soaked up the excess sodium well. Dinner was a big hit! :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam!

I'm making dinner (it's a barbequey tofu thing over whole wheat pasta - it sounded good in my head, now I'm questioning myself) when I decided to "kick it up a notch" and add some "Bam!"

So I pulled out my Emeril's Essence and proceeded to open out the "Dump Out The Entire Bottle" side on accident instead of opening the "Sprinkle Out A Little Bit" side.

There is a little bit too much "Bam!" in my dinner now. I'll bet my husband will still eat it. Happily. This is a big reason why I love him so much.

I am hoping the non-salting of my pasta water will result in blander pasta that will hide the salty sauce. I'll letcha know later. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Love Thursday

Well boys and girls, it's that time again. Here's what I'm loving this week:

1) Our church's Wednesday night Believer's Life Enrichment Classes. We just started a series on marriage-building and so far we've gotten a lot out of it! It makes me really happy, considering that we have an awesome marriage to begin with. I didn't think we needed much improvement, but I'm all for investing in a solid foundation for our family's future.

2) My new bag. It's my Fall/Winter bag, but I swapped out bags so I could wash the Spring/Summer bag. Now the Spring/Summer bag is drying and I am having a hard time switching back. Oh me, oh my. I love the pocketude of the Vera Bradley Miller Bag. So. Freaking. Awesome.

3) My new SHOES! I have officially decided to invest in myself and start the Couch to 5k plan on Cool Running. So I jetted to Dick Pond's yesterday to be professionally fitted for appropriate gear. My head is still reeling over taking a SIZE 10! in running shoes, but they fit and they're SOOOOOO comfortable. I got these and they feel so good I want to wear them all the time. That's my incentive to get out and go though - I only let myself wear them when I'm going for my walk.

4) Glass and stainless steel. I am trying to phase out plastics at the Powers House, and step 1 is bottles, sippy cups, and drink carafes. This week I bought Jackson 2 sets of Evenflo glass bottles. I ordered us a bunch of Klean Kanteen bottles and sippys through a local vendor recently, and we just picked up a new glass pitcher for the fridge. Here's a very informative article that will explain the "why" to you.

5) Celestial Seasonings Vanilla Apple White Organic Tea. We drink A LOT of tea in this house, most of it iced greens and whites. We recently decided to go organic with our teas. I mean, we eat 90% organic anyways! Since tea is just the dried plant leaves, they seem like they'd be especially prone to high levels of whatever is used for pesticides. It's not that much more expensive than conventional teas, and this particular flavor is REALLY yummy. I just made up a pitcher (in the new glass pitcher) and sweetened it with stevia. It's chilling in the fridge for tomorrow - yum!

So...what are you lovin' today?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Goach Hunters

Hubby and I have taken up a new sport in the land of Naperville Housewives. You see, there are several key components involved in being a pretentious Naperville Housewife.

1) SUV. Preferably a status make. The Lexus SUV is popular. (Or as I call it, the "glorified Toyota".)

2) Stay at home wife/mom status. Work is for suckas. Of course, that makes all of our husbands suckas, but let's not talk about that.

3) A ring of no less than 2 carats.

4) If you are a Mommy, you must have a Bugaboo or Peg Perego stroller. BOB Revolutions are also acceptable if you are a jogger. Not an Aria, though (the cheap Peg). It must be the Pliko P3. YES, I have a P3 but I bought it for its awesomeness, I had no idea it was a "status" baby carriage. I find this whole idea of a status stroller laughable. What's even funnier about the whole Naperville Stroller Brigade is that they are MANY far more pricey luxury strollers out there, but for some reason they have decided that THESE are the must-have buggies.

5) Coach bag. Again, there are many more pricey (and better looking) bags out there, but the must-have bag here is a C-logo Coach. The lust for Coach is so strong in our little burg that there is a glut of what I call "Goach". A Goach bag is a Coach bag knock-off.

I find the heavy saturation of population of Goach bags absolutely hilarious. First of all, Coach bags aren't all that great! That logo is FUG. They are overpriced for the quality (the old leather bags used to be really great). Tim and I have become Goach Hunters, and we're so good now we can spot them from a block away!
(For the record, my fall/winter bag that I just picked out last Friday is a Vera Bradley Miller bag in Cambridge.)

Here are some key Goach identifiers:

Funky color combinations. Most Coach is in normal, neutral color schemes aside from their zany patchwork bags, which give me a headache. The design is hideous, it looks like a purse having a seizure. And then once you figure out you just paid $200 for a bag made from the selvages and scraps off the production room floor, you will probably have a seizure too!

The "G" instead of the "C" for a logo.

A fully serif or sans serif "C" for a logo. The true Coach logo "C" is serif on the top, and sans serif on the bottom. I submit for your review, Exhibit A.

There. Now all of you can come to my town and join me in Goach Hunting. And you know the bitches with the fake bags are probably also wearing cubic zirconium.

Monday, July 16, 2007

In the Army Now!

Or at least, that's what I thought I wanted. And then today happened. Today he took his first unassisted step. I should have done a pool to bet which he would do first - walk or crawl. He still isn't "crawling" yet, but tonight he perfected the army crawl. He started at my feet on the sofa and he's in the front hall (within eyesight) right now. He's been toying with the idea of crawling for a couple of months now. He just decided that today was the day!

It's very exciting, because the "I want to crawlllllllll! (insert wail here)" frustration is now over. For him, the frustration is over anyways. Tomorrow morning it's off to Babies R Us for cabinet latches, baby knob protectors, and outlet covers. And probably a baby jail.

Just as his frustration ends, mine will begin. I've seen how crazy it can be to chase and contain a BOTM (Baby On The Move), and I am TERRIFIED!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Love Thursday

I know we've all missed my weekly installations of Love Thursday (okay maybe just I did), so here's what I'm loving this week:

1) Baby Savanna! My friend Chris had her firstborn yesterday. I am very excited for Chris and her husband Tim. They are going to be such awesome parents. They're both super fun and loving people. Little Savvy (isn't that the cutest nickname?!?) came out with a full, dark swath of hair and her mama's cute nose. Babies are MAGIC.

2) Today's weather. 80's and breezy. Jax and I sat in his room playing with his helium balloon. He was mystified to watch me release it then catch it again after the wind swirled it around the room. I pretended to guide it back to me with my hands as the breeze carried it through his room. It was so fun to sit and play with my boy.

3) REAL maple syrup. I've been making tons of pancakes lately, and the real thing is so much yummier than Mrs. Butterworth's. So, so, so much yummier.

4) Trader Joe's Coastal Fume Blanc. I just had a wee glass for dessert. It is so light, drinkable, sweet and smooth. Amazingly good for a $6 wine.

5) PENZEY'S. I've stopped in a few times for some seasoning blends to spice up my life in the kitchen. Thou must have the Fox Point Blend for roast potatoes, and their Bold Taco Seasoning is fantastique!

Whatchoo lovin' today?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Jam on it!

Sorry I've been a bad blogger lately. After berry picking at Plow Creek Farm near Tiskilwa, IL (about a 2 hours drive from our new house) we came home overloaded with blueberries and strawberries. U-Pick blueberries were $2 a pound and strawberries were $2 a quart. We picked all we could and schlepped home tons of berries.

This explains the multiple berry-faced photos of Jackson having blueberry pancakes. He REALLY loves blueberry pancakes!

We're pancaked out though (at least I am, of making them!) so it's time to do something different with our berries. So I've been making jam.

Plow Creek is an organic farm that has applied for certification but is in the 3 year USDA waiting period for certification. So, for all intents and purposes they're organic. So I've been making vats of sugar free (sweetened with Stevia) organic homemade jam, and can I just tell you that Smucker's ain't got nothin' on me? Not to sound overly conceited, but my jam is seriously awesome.

I'm hosting my cousin Sue overnight tomorrow night, so I'll be picking up some good bagels to serve her for breakfast along with some fresh jam. Yum!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

News Flashes

So, I still don't know what I believe regarding the whole Tongues thing.

But, after a few more church services and activities I feel VERY comfortable in the new church. And I have been praying for an answer and guidance.

More specifically, I told God that if the gift of tongues is a genuine gift for modern believers then He should give it to me. Call it Doubting Thomas Complex, but I need
to experience this firsthand to know it's "real". So far, no dice. Only normal babbling from me, nothing unusual.

After taking a break from my cleanse to honor my best friend's birthday, RibFest, and various other family activities that involved eating, I am going back on my cleanse platform tomorrow. Whee!

Speaking of RibFest, here's a couple of pics from the festivities. We attended with
Coupon Chris and her two boys.

Here's Moose bouncing and laughing with his favorite babysitter - I love how you can
tell he's laughing by how plump his cheeks are!

And here's Andrew, Chris' son. He's cheating on his betrothed, Gracie in this picture with a little cutie from the fest named Lily. SHHHHH don't tell!

Here's my little Moose, out to lunch with Mommy, Christy and his BFF Josh at Panera. He gobbles up Panera grilled cheese with gusto! (As long as it is cut into strips).

And here's Jax getting his splash on at playgroup:

And that's all the news that's fit to blog! Peace out!

Friday, July 06, 2007


My husband has become single minded in his quest for a bicycle. He is seriously driving me crazy with his constant Googling of product reviews and scouring catalogs and hunting down bike shops. He is a man possessed by one desire: his desire for a bicycle.

I say "bicycle" because I accidentally referred to it simply as a "bike" earlier today when I was talking to my baby bro. He was all confused.

Me: "Tim is so crazy, he wants this big, fancy bike. He's obsessed with it."
Bro: "Oh yeah?"
Me: "So I have been telling him that we need to save up for it and wait. But I ordered the one he wants with all the options he wants behind his back, and I just picked it up. It's in the back of the Jeep, and I'm going to pick him up at the train station so I can surprise him with it."
Bro: "What kind of car do you have?"
Me: "Jeep Grand Cherokee."
Bro: "How did you fit a bike in the back of your car?"
Me: "I turned down the split back seat and then lifted up the bike and rolled it in. A guy at the store helped me."
Bro: "How are you going to get it out?"
Me: "Tim and I will get it out together."
Bro: "Isn't it kind of heavy for your car?"
Me: "Nah, it's OK."
Bro: "What does he want to do, take it on road trips?"
Me: "No, he wants to go riding trails by our house. He wants to get one of those trailer things for the baby and pull the baby in the trailer behind his bike."
Bro: "You're going to let him do that? Is that safe?"
"Yeah, I read up on it and it seems pretty safe."
Bro: "You're going to let him pull the baby in a trailer behind a bike on trails?"
"Well, yeah. The baby wears a helmet and the trailer has rollbars."
Bro: "Aren't you worried about the baby getting burned? From the heat? That doesn't sound very safe."
Me: "There's a sunshade and we can always use sunscreen."
Bro: "No, from the heat and the EXHAUST."

And this is when I realized that the bike I was talking about was not the same bike my brother was talking about. :)

I pulled up to the train station and waited. The bicycle waited in the back, hidden under a blanket so he couldn't see the outline of the bike through the windows. As Tim approached the Jeep, I got out and walked towards the back of the car. I opened the hatch and said, "There's no room for you to sit in the Jeep."

I pulled the blanket off the bike and said, "But you can ride home" revealing his new bike, a helmet, a kevlar lock, and a wireless bicycle computer.

My husband looked like he had won the lottery. He said, "No. Way."

I said, "Way!"

He gave me a big hug and we drove off into the sunset.

If anybody has a spare Lance Armstrong bracelet, it would make a great gag gift. :)