Flashback Friday - The Ghost of Halloweens Past

Did you know tomorrow was Halloween?  I did.  Thanks to our local weather forecast's helpful parenthetical.

Now that I know what tomorrow is, I can proceed with my flashback to Halloweens of yesteryear.  Since becoming a parent, all holidays have a renewed sense of fun and fulfillment for me.  Even before the kids are old enough to recognize their own name, let alone ask for candy, I stuff them into a costume of my choosing.  It's fun for everyone.  Sometimes.

Soon enough they come around though!  And Halloween really *is* fun for everyone.  (Despite the almost-crying, and deer-in-headlights appearance of the next photo!)

(And the younger ones start feeling passionately about things...like sharing their stroller whilst trick-or-treating.  Incidentally, Ben wanted a ride because it was no less than 90 for Halloween that year and I imagine that padded Ninja Turtle costume was quite warm.)

Can't believe the time has come again for another Halloween.  I swear time moves faster now than it used to.  As of this moment with approximately 31 hours to trick-or-treat time, the proposed costumes are a skeleton, Cinderella, and a pumpkin (see first photo).  This weekend proves to be a busy one, but a fun one.

I love Halloween.  Always have.

Good times.  Good times.  Hope you all have a very fun, very safe, Happy Halloween!

P.S.- Despite my passionate disdain for all things Daylight Savings Time-related, here is my PSA to remind you all to set your clocks back this weekend.  "Hooray" for an "extra hour of sleep" for those of you who don't have kids that will now be waking up at 4:30am.  ;)

I'd Like to Make it with You

Anytime we're in the kitchen preparing a meal, Abby comes in to check things out.  She's a curious little girl (to put it mildly).  I kind of liken her to a dog in there, hoping that a morsel falls to the ground so she can have a taste.  I wish she had half that enthusiasm about food when we're actually sitting down at the table eating.

Anyway, lately when she comes in, no matter what is going on, she automatically says, "I want to make it with you."

Then, because Sam and I apparently have the maturity level of twelve year old boys, we chortle at the innuendo.

Next, because I can't help myself, I immedately start singing "Make It with You" by Bread, particularly the line quoted by Abby and referenced in the title.  "I'd like to make it with youuuu..."

Evidently this happens enough that now when she enters the kitchen, Abby no longer simply states that she wants to make it with us, she sings it.  "I'd like to make it with yooouuu..."


Moral of the story:  It's never too early to teach your kids classic Bread lyrics.

The Mom List...because this WOHM needs a distraction

You fear going to the pediatrician's office, especially for well-child check ups because you know the place is teeming with germs.  If you're all healthy two or three days later, you thank your lucky stars you made it through unscathed, and vow to write a thank you note to Purell and immunity supporting Flintstone vitamins for making it all possible.

You thank God every day for a family-friendly boss who lets you come and go as situations (i.e.-random fevers, possible concussions, potty accidents) arise.

Your kids find so much delight in drinking water from the water cooler at your office that you wonder if they could possibly occupy themselves with that for 8 hours a day.  It would save you a good bit of cash on the daycare front.

You are acutely aware that there is no toy so cool as an old cell phone.  Except for maybe a new, functioning cell phone.  On which they can call China.

You might be a "yankee" by origin where such titles are often considered offensive, but you have trained yourself to reply to questions with "sir" or "ma'am" so as to provide the appropriate example for your children.

You have told your kids a "when I was your age" story, referencing anything from card catalogs to sharing one common cup at hockey practice to actually having to watch *live* tv and having to point the remote AT the tv.

You were in the mood for pizza, so you got industrious, rolled out a crust, only to discover that the only mozzarella you have in the house is in the form of string cheese.  Soooo...you get jiggy with the cheese grater.

You can already embarrass your kids by saying things like "get jiggy with the cheese grater", giving you a glimpse of how much fun the teenage years are going to be.

It never fails that your children only request breakfasts with syrup when they're freshly bathed.

You've had to hide your kids' Halloween costumes in an attempt to make them actually last through Halloween.

You get more excited about making goody bags than your kids get about receiving them.

You have (or know someone who has) a box of clothes in the attic labeled "Memory Clothes".  Your children might never wear them again, and you'll probably never look at them again, but by golly you're keeping the outfit your kid wore the first time he tried rice cereal or the first time she had a fall that resulted in stitches.

Driving for Dummies

This place I call home is a melting pot.  It's known as the "International City" for its alleged high level of cultural diversity.  That's fine and dandy.  I take no issue with the melting pot.  I do take issue with the mixing of the plethora of driving styles we have going on in this slightly-more-than-suburban city of mine.  I've been trying harder lately to not be so downright grumpy and pessimistic.  Unfortunately, this is impossible when I'm behind the wheel.  It's like my alter-ego comes out the minute I sit behind the steering wheel.  I'm not proud of it.  It's just a fact.

Maybe we do have the worst drivers in the world here (as some claim).  Maybe it's because the people who are lifetime residents don't know how to drive in more urban conditions (since this place started out as little more than a farming community).  Perhaps the myriad of geographic backgrounds doesn't mix well on the roads.  Maybe the infrastructure just needs a serious overhaul (it does), and upgrades would help traffic move along more smoothly (they would).

Whatever the cause of the traffic problems, there *are* some things we can do to keep problems to a minimum.

So let me help.  Here are my tips for my fellow citizens of WR (and the entire driving population of the United States, since I might someday share a road with you too):

1.  The left lane is the passing lane (sometimes referred to as the fast lane).  If someone is riding your tail in the fast lane, use your blinker, and get over into the right lane to let them *pass* you.
2.  The blinker can be found within a finger's reach of your left hand.  It takes almost no effort at all to flick it either up or down depending on whether you intend to go right or left, respectively.  The purpose of the blinker is to let other people know your intentions.  Not only is it a safety mechanism, but it is also a courtesy to other drivers.  I know "courtesy to others" is hard to understand in this age of self-centeredness.  But really.  Just use the flippin' blinker.
3.  Four way stops are not all that complicated.  To summarize:  first in, first out.  In the event of a tie, the person to the right goes first.  In the event of face to face tie where one driver wants to turn left, the person going straight goes first (just pretend there's a "Left Turn Yield on Green" sign.  Thanks to SLL for calling out my error...and lack of proofreading!).  Not brain surgery.  Oh!  And believe it or not, blinkers come to play once again in the four way stop.  If you don't use the blinker, be prepared to get hit.  And you deserve it.
4.  If you are exiting a shopping venue, subdivision, restaurant, etc. and preparing to turn onto a road with a somewhat significant speed limit (45mph or more) and especially only one lane, do not pull out in front of someone and go 15mph.  If you're going to do it, step on it.  Otherwise be prepared to hear a horn and receive an obscene gesture.  You deserve them.
5.  Furthermore, if you pull out in front of someone on the same road, don't step on it, and then slam on your breaks to turn left (even if you use your blinker), be preprared to get rear-ended.  You deserve it.
6.  Parking lots are not roads.  You should not be going 40mph through them (especially since you just pulled out in front of me in a 55mph zone and went 30mph).  There are pedestrians aplenty in parking lots that do not want to play chicken with your car, and shouldn't have to.
7.  Parking lots have lines on them for a reason.  If you go 30mph perpendicular to the rows and get t-boned by another car, you deserve it.
8.  Red lights are not a suggestion.  I can't count the number of times I've seen cars blatantly disregard very-obviously-red lights in this town.  I consider myself lucky to have not witnessed or have been a part of a deadly car crash as a result.  This is very serious, folks.  Keep your eyes open.
9.  Blinkers do not equal entitlement.  Out of the few folks who do use their blinkers, there are a handful who think that flipping the blinker on means they don't even have to look in order to change lanes.  Everyone else on the road will accomodate them.  You're wrong.  That's what mirrors and functioning neck muscles are for.
10.  Just because you drive a vehicle that barely fits in a parking spot does not mean that you own the road.  I'm sorry that you can't turn those things very well, but I should not have to stop and wait for you to do a 15 point turn to exit the parking lot.  You do not get to take up the entire road.  And if your vehicle can't make that turn, either learn how to drive it or find one that can.  Oh, and remember when you raced me at that stop light?  It cost you $15 worth of gas, and you still lost.  How does that feel?
11.  When driving on a one-lane-in-each-direction road with passing zones, I have a right to pass you when the opportunity arises.  This means you should not floor it the minute I put my blinker on and enter the opposing traffic lane, especially when you went 10mph under the speed limit the entire time I was following you.  Not only are you a jerk, but you endangered lives.  You will probably be on the receiving end of windshield washer fluid from my rear window.  And you deserve it.
12.  Residential neighborhoods are not the Daytona racetrack.  Children shouldn't be playing in the roads, but in case they are, it's better to give them a fair chance at life by obeying that 25mph posted speeds than to run them down going 40mph.  Thanks.
13.  Yield, don't surrender.  If you are entering an interstate highway via an on-ramp that instructs you to yield.  Go!  Do not enter a high-speed highway and slow down because someone is coming!  You will cause an accident.  On the same vein, if you see someone entering the highway, give them the right lane.  Consider it as "passing" them, and move on over.  Just don't stay over there.
14.  I know interstate driving is boring, but cruise control is your friend.  It enables you to maintain a constant speed, and not be one of those completely annoying spazzes that varies between 10 under and 10 over the posted speed limit.
15.  Trucks have a lot of inertia.  Do not cut trucks off and expect them to be able to stop behind you.  You might get hit.  Worse.  You might get flattened like a pancake.  And I can't even say you'd deserve it because that would be insensitive in a mortal sense.

There are oh-so-many more driving transgressions I have witnessed around here, including but not limited to staying in your own lane of traffic, turning left from a right hand lane, watching high-speed police chases crossing dirt medians from the "comfort" of my vehicle.  Normal stuff. 

The bottom line is that you cannot control what other people are doing.  And they're likely doing some of that stuff ^up there^.  Scary thought, isn't it?  I hate to be the thinker of negative thoughts, but driving is scary.  Please do whatever you can to keep yourself and your passengers safe.  I know I have some very precious cargo.  I'm relying on the rest of you.  I'm already doing the best that I can.

Flashback Friday - The Pumpkin Patch

I'll be brief (for once) and rely mostly on pictures for this flashback.  We try every year to visit the pumpkin patch to pick out our big Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin, check out the farm animals, and (most importantly) take pictures among the fall-esque landscape.  I don't know how much the kids care about it, but I look forward to it every fall and also every spring (when we go pick strawberries and enjoy homemade strawberry ice cream!).

Last Saturday, the high temperature was barely 50 (which is cold to a Georgian), and it was misty and windy.  Needless to say, we just kind of grabbed our pumpkins & zinnias and skee-daddled.  But *I* loved it.

Wait.  That's not a pumpkin.

So, I dug up last year's photos.  If memory serves me correctly, it was hot and sticky.  I mean, who wears shorts to pick pumpkins?  Apparently, we do.


We'll go back one more year still.  This puts Abby at just over one year old.  Ben at just barely four.  We should have known from this picture what was yet to come from our devious Abby.


Good times and great memories at the pumpkin patch.  I totally heart family traditions.

In closing, our newest pumpkin says "Happy Fall"!!!!


#17 - Eat every meal at home and bring my lunch to work everyday for a week.


I know to some this goal is probably a cakewalk.  But, I confess, ashamedly, that eating at home is not something we are great at doing.  It's my fault.  I hate cooking.  (But I LOVE baking.  No idea where the disconnect is...)

Anyway, this goal was actually easily attainable, thanks almost 100% to Sam and his willingness to cook.  He made dinner for the past week, and I took the leftovers for lunch every day.  Sounds like cheating to me.  But it counts because we didn't spend a dime on eating out, and that was the motive behind this goal.

Also thanks go to Sam for allowing me to stand him up on our weekly Thursday lunch date so I could reach my 21st meal.  Just to make sure I reached the goal, we dined in last night, and I didn't even stop at DD for a coffee to celebrate this morning.  That puts me at 23 consecutive meals without dining out.  (Not that coffee is a "meal" per se, but you know...sometimes it is.)  Hooray!

I am almost certain this trend will continue.  We are tired of wasting our money dining out.  And Sam is a FABULOUS cook.  (Love you!)

Either way, it's sticky.

The results of the Jam or Jelly poll are as follows:
  5 (35%)

  3 (21%)

They're not the same thing?
  5 (35%)

Why is Jam so much cheaper?
  6 (42%)

There were 14 voters.

So, basically five people don't know the difference, five people perfer jam, three prefer jelly, and one of the 14 ONLY wants to know why Jam is cheaper and apparently has no preference or doesn't eat it at all.  Interesting.

I've been informed by three sources that the difference between jam and jelly is that jam is made from the entire fruit, and jelly is made from only the juice of the fruit.  I suppose the juice extraction step is extra and therefore, more costly.  You know, as opposed to chunking a bunch of whole grapes, strawberries, etc in big jam-making machine.  Apparently I'm not the only person to consider this mystery of sticky fruit-based things.  Please refer to this link for a concise look at the difference between jelly, jam, and yet another...preserves.  If you notice in the URL, it's question 84.  That's pretty high priority, if you ask me.

I now consider myself enlightened in the realm of sticky breakfast accoutraments.  Except syrup.  And don't even get me started on that.

Progress and Plugging Right Along - 10.21.09

I was determined to get cranking on my list crossing-off this week.  Sunday morning, I hopped up out of bed, got in the shower, and said to myself in an empowering way, "Self, we will not be late to church today!" 

We were only 5 minutes late.  And that included kid-drop off.  That was *really* close.  Ben was not late to choir Sunday afternoon (though 5:15 does always sneak up on us).  And Monday morning, I was *early* even....until I couldn't find my keys.  Because they were in Sam's jacket pocket.  At work with him.  It's okay.  I'm looking at it as good practice.  Maybe each day I'll get a little earlier (and I have), and it won't be so difficult to make it on time.

I also started getting up earlier, in an effort to be more in sync with Sam.  I haven't been getting up at 4:45 like him, but I do get up around 5:15 or 5:30.  He goes in so early, and understandably gets tired early in the evening, whereas, I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed from sleeping in until 6:30 or so.  I am turning over a new leaf.  By getting up early, I can pack lunches without rushing, get in a workout, do random chores that would otherwise wait for me to get home from work, drink an extra cup of coffee, lots of things!  Despite the fact that my children have decided to join me on the endeavor to wake up early (Abby's turn was Monday, Sarah's turn was Tuesday, and Ben's turn was today), it has been really great.  I feel less stressed, energized, and I'm actually tired at a reasonable hour.  Who knew?  Maybe one of these days I'll actually enjoy the whole morning to myself!  (One can dream.)

Newly in progress this week:
14. Make my bed every day for two weeks before leaving for work. (3/14)  I've heard it takes 21 times of repetition to make a new habit.  I might just continue this one.  It takes less than a minute to do and keeps the kids from getting my sheets all gritty.  Score!
16. Set up an ING savings account for Ben, Abby, and Sarah.  Waiting to confirm my bank account.
17. Eat every meal at home and bring my lunch to work everyday for a week.(16/21) Since Friday, we've eaten every meal at home or brought lunch from home.  This challenge isn't just for me, but also for Sam.
18. Sell something on Ebay.  Made a listing this morning to get rid of Sam's old Onkyo receiver.  Fingers crossed we can get a bite on it.  I just want it to be gone!
28. Complete a 30 Day Challenge on EA Active. (3/30)  I think I will actually be home for 30 consecutive days so this was a good time to start!  And it works out especially well coinciding with my early rising.
35. Read the Bible in 365 days. (Day 1: October 14th, 2009)  I've set up an account on christianity.com that gives me the passages to read each day so that I'm on a schedule.  This works really well for me!
37. Get up early enough for Church AND Sunday School for an entire month.(1/4)  Check for week 1!  (This is a ridiculous goal, I know.  It should be easy, but it's not!)
48. Take treats to the kids' teachers once a month. (1/33)  The one on my list that I'm most looking forward to!  I love baking.  Last night I made pumpkin cheesecake tarts out of gratitude for the love and learning opportunities that the kids' teachers provide day in and day out.  


How to Know You're a Mom - Wicked Wednesday

Not one single day has gone by since your children could talk that they didn't protest bedtime.

You hear your kids drop something on the floor, and without looking you already know it's the newest, most expensive thing you've bought.

Consequently, you stop buying new, expensive things...and vow not to again until the kids move out or retirement (whichever comes first).

You have washed an entire load of footie pajamas.

You hold a newborn, and swear that your own child was never that tiny.  (Even though they totally were.)

You have walked some ridiculous distance carrying a child with a soiled diaper in search of a clean, flat surface where you can change them.  (Preferably away from people so that the stink doesn't bother them.)

You learned to improvise and have now changed a child on your lap, in the seat of an airplane, in the trunk of a car, in the stroller, and behind a curtain on the ground at the fair.  With a little imagination, the possibilities are endless.

You have said something to your child only to see them transform into Amelia Bedelia right before your eyes.  For example, you tell them to hold their horses...and they reply, "We don't have any horses!"  Or you've mentioned that they got up on the wrong side of the bed...and the reply is, "I can't!  There's a wall there!"

Just like when you'd watch a movie when you were younger and living at home, and your parents would always walk in during a fit of incessant cursing or a sex scene, so it goes when you have children.  They do the same thing.  It's some kind of innate sixth sense.

You have discovered that people react in irrational ways towards pregnancy.  Suddenly strangers are touching your belly and commenting on your weight.  Are these things acceptable among non-pregnant people?  No.  I don't think carrying an unborn child changes the rules.

You politely smile and oblige when someone kidless says that they're tired.  You and I both know, they have no idea.

Who knew Dr. Seuss wrote my biography?!

As part of my #55 on my 101 list , we read Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose for the first time in any of our lives.  (That sounds very dramatic, doesn't it?)  It's always an adventure to read new Seuss, for me at least.  As you may have noticed, I'm mildly obsessed with his stuff.

To sum up, for those of you who haven't read the book (from http://wapedia.mobi/en/Thidwick_the_Big-Hearted_Moose):

Thidwick, a moose who lives in a herd "about sixty or more" , accepts a bug living on his antlers for free, who tells a spider of the free housing, and both accept a "Zinn-a-zu" bird. The herd rejects Thidwick after the Zinnazu bird's wife, a woodpecker, and four squirrels move in. Since food is scarce he needs to travel to the south side of the lake to find more.  After a bobcat and turtle settle, they refuse to let him travel to the other side of the lake. Thidwick realizes that he has lost his autonomy and that the collective in his antlers has forced him to support them. Pressure hits the poor moose after three mice, a fox, a bear, and 362 bees move in on his antlers, but trouble switches thoughts fast after seeing hunters who "must get his head for the Harvard Club wall". When Thidwick is trapped after an attempt to escape, he suddenly remembers that antler-shedding season has arrived. He bucks the antlers off, leaves the freeloaders at the mercy of the hunters and swims to the other side of the lake to rejoin his herd. His antlers, and the former squatters, are stuffed and mounted.

Before I continue, I feel the need to clarify the title of this post, lest you think I'm just *that* egotistical.  While I do think I have a big heart, I don't claim to be the most big-hearted human ever.  I'm sure there are lots of people who think that I'm completely heartless (and please, try not to sing Kanye, it would ruin the ambience.  I know I had to suppress the urge myself.).  The part of the story I do think is biographical for me, is Thidwick's inability to say no, to speak his mind, to defend himself.

This is a trait that I've witnessed in my father since a very young age.  (Because no blog of mine would be complete without a disclaimer, let me just say that I look up to my dad more than anyone I know. He's a wonderful role model, and he's got about a million and one great traits.  I don't want this to sound like blatant criticism.  I'm trying to be fair and balanced.)  He does have a big heart, but he has a less than strong backbone.  And I guess that's genetic.  On one hand, it is absolutely admirable to be so unconcerned with yourself that you sacrifice for others.  But it doesn't take long before it reaches the point that you are being completely and totally taken advantage of.  Apparently, there is a thin line between selflessness and simply being a doormat.

And so the story goes that the big-hearted moose gets completely abused as a result of his own generosity.  He thought that his herd would take pity on him, instead they said "the heck with him" and left him to deal with his own mess.  At the end of the story, Thidwick takes the bull by the horns (bucks the antlers off his head, as is actually the case), and is taken advantage of no longer!  He did it!  He stood up for himself, and as is so infrequently the case, the freeloaders got what they deserved, which is to say they were stuffed and mounted on the Harvard Club wall...a fate that is apparently controversial to some, but not me. 

In the end, I know that there is hope for me.  I am not ashamed to admit that I was inspired by a Dr. Seuss book.  Thidwick is my hero.  He shed his doormat ways and stood up for himself.  Maybe one day I'll do that too.  Here's hoping it's sooner than later.

On a semi-related note, maybe I'll buy this book for my dad for Christmas. (Nah.  He's retiring soon.  He can tolerate being a doormat at work for a mere five more months.)

#46 - Take Dinner to a Friend


Thanks to the Young Marrieds Sunday School class at CBC being chock full of child-bearing aged couples, I had my first opportunity to take a meal to a new mom this weekend.  It was especially sweet because they named the baby Benjamin.  The menu:  Chicken Manicotti, Texas Toast, and PB Cookies.

We didn't get to do the Corn Maze at the pumpkin patch today due to rain...luckily there's another opportunity at the end of the month!

We're coming right along with the Dr. Seuss books though...just read #10 tonight.  I edited the original list to include not just Classic Seuss, but also his collaborations as Theo LeSeig.

Hope the rest of the 101 in 1001-ers are doing well!

Flashback Friday - Problem Solving

Now that Halloween is on the horizon, and especially now that cooler weather is here, I can't help but think back to the Halloweens we've shared with our precious children.  It has always been one of my favorite holidays...I'm not exactly sure why (and it's *especially* perplexing when people find out I was raised and still am Southern Baptist!).  For whatever reason though, I just love it.

Ben loves it too.  He starts thinking about Halloween as soon as Halloween is over...which is to say that he never stops.  Last Halloween he was Spiderman, and he wore that costume almost day and night for the entire month of October.  We're lucky it was still intact by the time October 31st rolled around.  We should have learned from the previous Halloween because he did the same thing with his Ninja Turtle costume.

The Ninja Turtle costume was awesome.  It had muscles, a shell, a mask, and the associated red belt, for which Sam crafted twin sai out of aluminum foil and electrical tape.  It couldn't be beat.  Ben agreed...and wore it 24/7.  A week after we bought it, three weeks prior to Halloween, it had syrup on the muscles, and some type of red drink had stained the yellow underbelly.  It suffered some "structural" damage too...as the seams were barely holding due to Ben constantly practicing various rigorous ninja moves while wearing it (and occasionally tackling his baby sister).

So...in an effort to preserve the costume at the very least through Halloween night, Mean Mom and Mean Dad confiscated it and put it out of reach in our closet.

After several days of searching the house up and down, Ben found it.  (It might not have taken any other 4 year old quite so long to locate the barely hidden costume, but Ben is particularly skilled at not being able to find things.)  He came out of the closet and pronounced that he knew where it was.  "Great," I replied.

About 10 minutes later, during one of my head counts, I realized Ben was unaccounted for.  Of *course* he was in the closet...trying to get the costume down.

The plan was brilliant, perhaps just not executed well.  He carried his stool (from Grammie which has been the source of countless injuries, but is also unfailingly useful) in there, and proceeded to stack the bathroom rugs and towels on it to make it taller.  That way, even if he fell, the rugs and towels would probably fall with him and provide some type of cushion.  There was just one problem.

He unfolded the towels first.

Needless to say, he wasn't tall enough to retrieve the costume.

Mean Mom and Mean Dad prevailed, and the costume lived to see Halloween night...and beyond.  That said, I couldn't help but be somewhat impressed by Ben's problem solving skills.  Somewhat being the operative word there.  Oh Ben.  Gotta love him.

Is Your Mom on Facebook?

  17 (73%)
  6 (26%)
I'm not sure
  0 (0%)

Well there you have it.  I'm one of the 6.  Joyce calls it FaceMail.  At one point, when I was still living at home, I spent a couple of hours trying to teach her to check email.  She might still be able to do it, but that's all the time I could commit to spending on that one task.  She's not so captive an audience.  Needless to say, she's not on Facebook.  I'm surprised, I guess, that so many moms are. 

So...does this mean I need to get Joyce on Facebook?  Nah.  Some things are better left alone.

Curious Beach Critters

Partially as a reward for not dining out as much as we used to, and partially because Ben was off for fall break anyway, we packed up the fam o' five and trekked down to Destin for a few days last weekend.  How silly I was to think that Destin in October would be cool, breezy, and so unlike it was when we were there in June.  It was in the mid to upper 80's and sunny.  Barely a breeze.  But honestly, it was PERFECT beach weather.

We kicked things off with half a day at the beach on Saturday.  Despite the application of SPF 50 to the children, they all managed to get sunburned (Sarah not as much...).  Guess it wasn't so water-resistant after all.  (Mom fail.)  It is truly amazing to watch the kids play and enjoy the beach.  It is such a treat for us.  (For everyone probably, unless you're privileged enough to live there!)

The beach has afforded Ben the opportunity to become braver by orders of magnitude.  When he was just itty bitty he would stand with his toes barely touching the surf.

Each year, he's grown a little more comfortable with the water, progressing from splashing around up to his waist, to (this June) getting his eyes wet without tears, to (this past weekend) riding waves on the boogie board all by himself.

To our chagrin, Abby has never been afraid of the water.

Not even one tiny bit.

She's never been afraid of anything really, except for loud noises (thunder, motorcycles, and emergency vehicles) and random, tall men.  She's a strange bird.

Oh man, I didn't even mean for that to happen, but what a perfect segway.

Sandpipers have always been an object of my curiosity.  I can't help but watch them as they run back and forth in between waves, trying so hard not to get their feet wet.  I can't help but wonder why they run anyway.  They're birds.  I know they can fly.   Ben was quite taken by the jellyfish and crabs that had washed up on shore, but Abby followed in my footsteps and found the sandpipers to be most entertaining. 

We took a walk up the beach, and Ben stuck mostly by my side splashing in the waves and checking out various treasures in the surf.  Abby ran ahead, not surprisingly.  At one point, she spotted a sandpiper and began to chase it.  She followed that thing in circles for what felt like an eternity, but was surely no less than five minutes.  The sandpiper just ran, and so did Abby.  Curious little creatures.  I realized that Abby is our little sandpiper.  A little running creature with endless energy that almost doesn't realize she can fly.  (But, unlike the sandpiper...she does NOT fear the surf.)

And now we're home...it's back to business and life as usual in Central Georgia.  Next on the horizon...the fair (maybe) and Halloween!  (And a new cousin...sooner or later!)

The Mom List - Rainy Wednesday

When you order a salad at a restaurant, you resort to hiding a couple of croutons under your salad bowl just so you can consume some of them yourself.

The sight of sunburn on your children brings a tear to your eye.  You feel the need to explain to everyone you see that you *did* apply SPF 50, and that the water must have washed off the "Super Water Resistant" sunscreen in the first 10 minutes you were at the beach.

There's always someone around to help you stir your coffee.

You can't count the number of hours you've spent scouring the house for piggies, blankets, and other essential bedtime items.  Ironically, they are always within arms reach during the day...but bedtime rolls around and they are nowhere to be found.

When crunched for time (and sometimes just because), poptarts and honey buns are perfectly acceptable breakfast choices.

You've wrestled a wily escape artist two year old back into a highchair in a restaurant.

You remember all of the "nevers" you muttered before you had kids, when you only had one, and before you had three, and you're able to smile at your ignorance.

The speed at which you're able to get from the car to the destination seems to be inversely proportional to how hard it is raining.  You used to be able to run between the rain drops.  Not so much with kids.

When someone wants to hold your baby, the disclaimer "she may spit-up on you" automatically comes out of your mouth.

You've become an amazing estimator of how big your kids will be in a year in order to capitalize on end-of-season clearances.

You get offended when you share a story about your children, and the listener replies with, "Yeah, I know exactly how you feel.  My dogs do the same thing."

A List Update ~ 10.14.09

I'm realizing that the list has a secondary purpose, beyond the 101 tasks.  It's teaching me patience and delayed gratification.  I'm not one to let a to-do list go unchecked for long, and yet I seem to have created a list of things that cannot be completed except over time.  I'm antsy by nature.  The list will either help me get over that or drive me mad.  I hope it's the former.

As for what I've accomplished since my last update:

#49.  Complimented another stranger!  It's fun to see a smile on someone's face when you tell them they're doing a good job.  (This week it was the waitress at TGIFriday's.  All of the other servers had been cut for the afternoon, and she was single-handedly taking care of about 8 tables.  She did it very well, and didn't even seem stressed.  I let her know this.)

#50.  I leave freerice.com open in one of my tabs at work, so if I need a mental break I go work on my vocabulary.  (Strange as that sounds, it's true.)

#55.  We read five of Dr. Seuss's books this past week (Green Eggs & Ham, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, and The Foot Book).  I'm convinced the Bartholomew ones are the LONGEST children's books ever.  I missed the sing-songy ring of Dr. Seuss's brilliant rhymes, but the messages were still there. 

#85.  While Sam contends that I don't really have "a usual" at Chili's, I contend that I rotate between the same 3 items (Southwestern Cobb Salad, Chicken Tacos, and Steak & Jalapeno Quesadillas).  We went to Chili's on Monday evening and I ordered the Mesquite Chicken Salad.  It was *AMAZING*!  That'll teach me not to try new things! 

On the horizon, I am working on the applications for Ben, Abby, & Sarah's savings accounts (but I don't have their SSN's at work) and I am planning to donate blood on October 30th (there is a blood drive at the mall that day).  Interestingly enough, that very same day (October 30th), Ben's class is going on a trip to the Corn Maize.  That could be a big day in terms of the list!  I also hope to send a treat to the teachers either this week or next (and not wait until Halloween!).

To everyone else who is plugging right along, keep up the good work!

Flashback Friday - The Socks

This is so random.  (Even though I'm random the majority of the time, I still feel the need to put that disclaimer out there for everyone.)

During the winter of 2007 it came to my attention that Abby's sock drawer was quickly becoming depleted.  I knew that she would always start the day wearing socks, and then suddenly later in the day, she wasn't anymore.  I don't know why I decided to look under her crib, but I did. 

There were fifteen pairs of socks under there.  Apparently, during naptime, she would take and shove them down between the crib and the wall.  My kids have never just "gone to sleep" when you put them in their beds.  They have to unwind, play a little while, take their socks off and shove them in unfind-able places.  You know.  The usual.  It gave me a nice hearty chuckle to find them all in one place (obviously I took a picture of a pile of socks, what a weirdo).  I didn't expect Abby's reaction though, and that is what makes the story complete.

As though she had been reunited with a long-lost friend, Abby spotted the socks and touched them lovingly, only to ultimately give the entire pile a warm embrace.

I guess this just goes to prove that it really is the little things in life that make us happy!

Happy Friday, everyone!  Hug someone (or something) that you're grateful for this weekend!!!

He wasn't my Bunky, but he was everyone else's.

October has always been my favorite month of the year.  You all already know how much I love fall, so there's that, what with the crispness in the air and pretty colors.  It was also the birthday month of one of the greatest men I've ever known, my other grandfather, my Mom's dad, Grandpop McGrath.  Or as many affectionately referred to him, Uncle Bunky.

If I weren't so absent-minded (read: dumb as rocks) these days, I would have remembered that his birthday was October 6th (not 8th or 12th as I had convinced myself).  So, a belated, posthumous birthday to Grandpop McGrath is in order.  It's only fair since I previously heralded my dad's father that I give my mom's father his due respect and admiration.

Grandpop McGrath was born in Crisfield, Maryland...with an affinity for the water and a crabnet in his hand, I think.  He was one of two boys and four girls.  Throughout adulthood, they all stayed close to home and grew old near each other (excepting his brother who died too young).  It's something you don't often see these days, and though they had their personality conflicts, they were always a close-knit family.

He joined the Navy during World War II (as did his sister, Sara) and served in the Pacific.  It is my honor to say that both of my grandfathers were WWII veterans.  I sincerely believe they were the "Greatest Generation".  Grandpop McGrath rarely spoke of his time in the service, and I can't imagine the things he must have seen.  I do think it had a profound affect on his outlook in life.  When he returned home, he married my grandmother and they proceeded to have a set of Irish twins (in my Aunt Janet and mom), then six years later added my Uncle Bob to the brood.  If you listen to them describe him, he was a strict, no-nonsense kind of father.  If you knew him in his older years, you'd hardly believe that.  Though he was stern with me and Julie when we would go visit, he was also so much fun it didn't bother us.  Grandpop was a democrat, a freemason, and a union-member...before there was a stigma attached to any of those things.  He was a good, good man.

He had a greenest thumb of anyone I have ever known.  His "backyard" was a giant garden, overflowing in the summertime with cucumbers (which he hated so much he wouldn't even smell them at the dinnertable), zucchini, tomatoes (more on this in a minute), and scuppernongs (which we always called just plain ol' "grapes").  Every summer, my father and Grandpop would have a friendly "competition" to see whose tomato plants bore fruit soonest.  It was all in good fun, and it didn't take long before they were calling each other up earlier and earlier each year, even as soon as Valentine's Day while there was still snow on the ground, bragging about how big their tomatoes were.

Not only did Grandpop have a green thumb, but he knew his way around the kitchen as well.  I think this was something he picked up later in life, as he was always tinkering with things and trying out new hobbies.  He could stir-fry like no other and LOVED the electric skillet, even making a pineapple upside down cake in it one time (I have the snapshot to prove it).  Dinnertime at Grandmom and Grandpop's house was always a treat.  They were both amazing with food.  I'll always have the memory of helping them snap their beans and eating them boiled with ham (yum).  There's just something so rewarding about going out to the veggie garden, bringing in some beans, prepping them, cooking them, and eating them.  One thing I remember most about mealtime with them, was that Grandpop couldn't eat without having some type of "carb".  Whether it be saltines or white bread, there was always a plate full right next to his spot at the table.

He was always joking around with people!  Going only on the pictures I've seen and stories I've heard, immediately after I was born, a sign appeared in our yard hand-scrawled on a piece of cardboard declaring to the neighborhood that "It's a rotten, stinkin' little girl!"  No one knows for sure whether it was our neighbor, Mr. Herb or Grandpop who did it.  I personally think it was a team effort.  Those two made quite a pair with their incessant hijinks.  I'm not sure how he got the nickname "Bunky", but it just fit.  I will forever equate the name "Bunky" with Grandpop and though I know exactly what I feel when it's said, I'll never be able to describe it with words.  If I had to try it would probably be "fun"...  He's the only man I've ever known in real life to be secure enough to wear a Donald Duck costume, complete with tights.  (And let me tell you, he pulled it off.  I envied his physique.  Tall and thin.  Those days for me are long gone!)

As I mentioned before, he was a hobby-man.  Though an electrician by trade, he dabbled in just about everything.  He made and painted wooden trinkets, golfed, camped, played on the internet from its inception, gardened, you name it.  It was always a new adventure with him.  Sometimes, he would simply announce that we were leaving...and to get in the car.  You could ask where we were going, but he wouldn't answer.  Either because he didn't know or didn't want to tell...maybe both.  My memories of him are so random, and yet they all make me smile.  Grandpop introduced me to the jigsaw (in his woodshop), vienna sausages, and depth finders.  He took me on my first fishing trip, boat ride, and mo-ped ride.  He challenged me to read the New Testament along with him one summer when I was about twelve years old.  He encouraged me spiritually and  lived to see me become a professed Christ follower.

Towards the end of my junior year and the summer before I was a senior in high school, Grandpop fell ill.  I personally believe that he had been seriously ill and known it for quite some time, but didn't tell anyone.  When he came to our house for Julie's wedding reception, it was obvious that he wasn't himself.  He didn't have much energy and kind of hung out on the couch.  It was very out of character for a man who spent the majority of his life on the go and up and at 'em.  Just a few months later, on September 15th, 2000, at the age of 77, Grandpop died due to complications from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  I do not fault him for his decisions at the end of his life, and I believe if faced with the same circumstances later in my own life, I would do the same.  Though I fear he was in pain for those months, I think he was happier than he could ever have been if he'd had to endure treatment.  He lived a full, happy life.  And he spent his final months at home.  With my grandmother and where his heart was.

Though completely different from each other, there were a few important similarities between the two of them.  Both of my grandfathers believed in, taught the importance of, and demonstrated the reward of hard work.  They were defined by their integrity.  They were both Christian men with unwavering convictions.  You didn't want to enter into a debate with either of them.  Trust me on that.

My life was touched by both of these great men, and in knowing them I understand how my parents turned out as well as they did.  (Some might say the jury is out on Joyce, but you know you love her.)  The three grandparents I have lost were all amazing individuals.  And I am grateful to have had at least 17 years with all of them.  I will never forget the profound impact they had on me.  I can only pray that I can use the model they provided for me to be an equally strong foundation for my family.

#55 - Read the entire classic works of Dr. Seuss to my children

We have already read A LOT of these books, either because we own them or because we've borrowed them (during my recently rekindled love affair with the library).  To be fair, we'll start fresh and re-read.  I went to the library today, and borrowed three of these books that I've never read before.  It always excites me to read new Seuss.  Unfortunately, we couldn't get started tonight because Abby is still at Grammie's house, and I didn't want to start without her.

For my sake more than anything, here is the list of classic Seuss works that we will be reading.

Read or Read

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
Bartholomew and the Oobleck
Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!
The Butter Battle Book
Cat in the Hat
Cat in the Hat Comes Back
Cat's Quizzer, The
Come Over to My House
Daisy-Head Mayzie
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

Dr. Seuss ABC
Dr. Seuss Sleep Book
The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
The Foot Book
Fox in Socks
Great Day for Up!
Green Eggs and Ham
Happy Birthday to You
Hooper Humperdink...?  Not Him!
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!

Hop on Pop
Horton Hatches the Egg
Horton Hears a Who
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Hunches in Bunches
I Am Not Going to Get up Today!
I Can Draw It Myself: By Me, Myself with a Little Help from My Friend Dr. Seuss
I Can Lick Thirty Tigers Today & Other Stories
I Can Write 
I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!

I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew
I Wish That I Had Duck Feet 
If I Ran the Circus
If I Ran the Zoo
In a People House
King's Stilts
The Lorax
McElligot's Pool
The Many Mice of Mr. Brice
Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now

Mister Brown Can Moo, Can You
My Book About Me
My Many Colored Days 
Oh, Say Can You Say?
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Oh! The Thinks You Can Think!
On Beyond Zebra
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Please Try to Remember the First Octember 
Scrambled Eggs Super!

The Seven Lady Godivas
Shape Of Me And Other Stuff
Sneetches And Other Stories
Ten Apples Up on Top
There's a Wocket in My Pocket!
There's a Zamp in my Lamp!
Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose
The Tooth Book
Wacky Wednesday
Wet Pet, Dry Pet, Your Pet, My Pet

Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog?
Yertle the Turtle & Other Stories
You're Only Old Once

The Mom List - A Day Early?!

This is too much fun for me.  I think you're stuck with it.
  • In an effort to stay on top of things, you slipped a sympathy card in your purse so you could send it from work when you had a moment to breathe.  Weeks pass, and you discover the card in your purse.  That's when Mommy-brain kicks in and, to your own horror, you can't remember who died.
  • Regardless of where you are or who you're around, you've held your baby's butt up to your nose and taken a big whiff to check for stinkies.  (Thanks, Angie!)
  • You've totally played the "quiet game" in the car.
  • There was a time when you were punctual.  You think.  It's been so long since you were on time to anything, you can't exactly be sure.
  • You've discovered that the best thing to do and the easiest thing to do are generally exact opposites when it comes to parenting.
  • Despite how sweet is is of her to share, you've had to reprimand your two year old for trying to feed raisins to your four month old.
  • Country songs are a lot sadder now.  
  • You've had countless reminders (thanks to spilled snowballs, leaky juice cups, and muddy feet) that you were 100% justified when opting for leather seats in the vehicle.
  • You've chosen to throw away an article of clothing because there's just entirely too much poop on it to warrant cleaning it.  Or, you've thrown away a cup you found under the car seat because you don't even want to know what 3 week old milk looks/smells like.  Or, you've tossed a soiled outfit that was left in the diaper bag for a long weekend because you feared the consequences of opening that Walmart bag.  ::shudder::
  • You know that high-pitched voice people use when talking to puppies, baby bunnies, and other cute little things?  You talk like that.  To your children.  Unapologetically.
  • You get so caught up in other things like feeding the kids, changing diapers, doing chores, not tripping over dirty laundry doing laundry, that you forget to eat.  It's 2pm before you realize all you've had that day is a half a cup of coffee you warmed up in the microwave 3 times and the edges from your kids' grilled cheese.

A 101 Update - 10.6.09

Since part of the fun of doing the 101 list is being able to share my successes (and failures) with you, I am posting my first update.

Brevity is not one of my strong points, so luckily for you, you'll get to hear more about it than I'm sure you want to.  When I first finished my list, I created a new blog entirely devoted to *just* the list.  Then Sam asked me why I did that.  I just kind of thought it deserved its own space.  Sam suggested I use this blog for the list because I'd probably run out of things to talk about soon.  I hadn't considered that as a possibility, but since he mentioned it, I had to worry about it.  Ultimately, I decided he might be right.  And even if he's not, this is a blog and there are no rules.  And if I run out of things to talk about, there's always the list.  From this point forward, I will label all list-associated posts as "The List" for ease of navigation (mostly for myself).

Since the inception of the list on 10.1, progress has been made on several of my items.

#39 ~ In addition to mealtimes, the kids and I pray at bedtime.
#40 ~ Check and check for the month of October!  Two notes of cheer have been sent...and I was feeling so great about it, I sent a third one just for the heck of it.  Because, let's face it, who doesn't like to get mail?
#50 ~ I sit at a desk all day.  Donating rice isn't exactly a stretch for me.
#99 ~ At this VERY moment, I'm about to blog about my first completed task.
#100 ~ I wrote a letter to myself...and though it hasn't made it to a secure location, it is in my purse.  Maybe I will leave it in my wallet until June 28, 2012...since I highly doubt I'll be cleaning my purse out before then. 

And now for my first official completed task (drumroll please), 

#101 ~ Easier than I thought, I inspired more than one person to create their own list.   Huzzah!  Now I get to sit back and enjoy the journey with many others!  Best of luck to you (us) all!

I've added a countdown to my blog as a reminder to anyone who started 10.1.09 with me, as to how many days remaining we have.  It also serves as a reminder to myself that I have 996 days, and not to freak out because I can't check everything off in the first week.  Paced gusto.  That's my motto.

I didn't start making my bed before work.  Or waking up early (i.e. when Sam gets up).  Or make it to work on time.  But I will. 

(And as if he has his own list going, Sam saved 41% on the Kroger trip yesterday!)

What I wish someone would have told me.

As a "seasoned" mom of three, the one thing I have learned above all else about parenting is that I know nothing about parenting. The longer I'm a mom, the more confident I get...not because I know all of the answers, but because I am acutely aware that I don't. It has allowed me to relax a little, enjoy the children more, and just breathe easier. I know that I don't know. And that, friends, is freedom.

There are still a few things, however, that I wish someone would have told me before I became a mom. Ultimately, I learned them through experience, mostly the hard way, but it would have been nice to have had a little heads up.

Let's pretend I had a wise, matronly mentor. Here's what I wish she would have said to me:

Dearest Jennie,

As you prepare to give birth to your firstborn, you are probably simultaneously thrilled and terrified. This is normal. The bad news is that you'll stay this way well beyond the newborn stage, into toddlerhood, elementary school, and beyond. It is the blessing and curse of being a mother.

You've carried your child in your womb for 9 months at this point, so you have undoubtedly had a taste of motherhood, like the sacrifices you've surrendered since being pregnant, be it spicy food, caffeine, comfortable sleep, or clear skin. Honey, you ain't seen nothing yet. Your world is about to be rocked (pardon the pun).

You know how everyone keeps telling you to rest up before the baby gets here? It's good advice (though not always feasible). Late in pregnancy, you're likely wearing out the carpet on the way to the restroom for potty breaks all hours of the day. This is God's way of preparing you for many a sleepless night with your newborn. (Also, you are going to refer to restroom stops as potty breaks henceforth. You don't think twice about it, but other people will. Especially if they've never been a parent. Don't mind them.)

You might have a birth plan. You might not. You don't have to do things one way or another. No matter what happens during labor and delivery, keep an open mind. You simply cannot plan nature. You are not a failure if you ask for an epidural. You are not a failure if breastfeeding doesn't work out. People will try to tell you this way or that way is better. Only you know what's best for you. Don't be afraid to voice it.

You've probably seen in the movies, when that little bundle is laid on the mother's chest, and immediately, she's in love. In reality, this might not be true. If you don't feel an instant connection to your child, it is okay. You are not a horrible mother. It will come. It may take days, or even weeks, but you *will* love that baby more than your own life. In the midst of new-mom fog, constant crying, and feeling like a cow (for more than one reason), it's normal for the overflowing lovey feelings to take a while to surface.

There's a saying about moms of two, that if you'd had the second child first, you probably wouldn't have had another. That might be true. It might also be true that your firstborn will cry all the time. Inconsolably. Again, you are not a bad mom if this is the case. Trust your gut. If something doesn't feel right, take them to the pediatrician. If they are fed, dry, and not tired, they might just be colicky. It happens to the best of us. Keep your sense of humor. Don't be afraid to try anything and everything. Be silly. Go outside, dance, make goofy faces with your baby.

If you decide to nurse (and I pray that you will at the very least *try*), know that even though it is one of the most natural things on God's green earth, it is NOT intuitive. It takes hard work on mom and baby's parts. It shouldn't hurt, but often does, particularly at first when your milk has not come in and your baby is nursing around the clock. Do not get discouraged. Stress is the worst thing for a nursing mother and baby. If you are having trouble, call me. Call someone. Call your hospital and speak to a lactation counselor or a nurse. Help is available. You *can* do it.

On a less serious note (or perhaps more serious depending on your perspective), Dad's need to change diapers too. No excuses. Moms have gag reflexes too, and don't enjoy changing poop either. The baby is 50% Daddy, so Daddy should change 50% of the diapers. It only makes sense.

As your baby gets older, you will have to figure things out as you grow together. What works for one family won't work for another. Motherhood is the very definition of on-the-job training. Pray for and with your kids. Don't grow apart from your husband. It is so easy to wholly devote yourself to your children and take for granted the love of your husband. Remember who came first.

Enjoy every moment. In a blink, you'll realize your child is having children of their own. It sounds so old-lady-like to say, but kids don't last long. Soon enough they'll be adults, and you'll wish you had them back. No regrets.

Call if you need ANYTHING.

Love & Best Wishes,

A Seasoned Mom

P.S.- Is there still a funny smell emanating from your newborn after a diaper change? Check their neck. Those tiny little rolls hold milk and it smells awful. I wish someone had told me that. ;)

Flashback Friday ~ My girlie's birthday

Last night, I tried to go to sleep around 9:30pm, despite the fact that I had about a million things to do.  I was trying to just let it go.  I was trying to be a less Type-A person.  Long story short, I failed.  I was up until 11 or so and then didn't fall asleep until just before midnight.  Only to be woken up by a hungry 4 month old around 12:45am.  Good story, huh?

Anyway, in the time between 9:30 and 11, I sat looking at pictures of my life thanks to Abby in the past three years (and creating a month-by-month album of her life on FB, go check it out!).  Abby is a very special little girl, full of life and energy.  She defines perpetual motion.  She was born on the move...taking her first unassisted steps just shy of eight months and was running (and crashing into everything) by nine.  She can just as easily play quietly by herself or rambunctiously with a crowd.  She'll bring a smile to your face just by looking at her.  She loves to make you smile, but doesn't do things for attention (most of the time).  She's an absolute wild card.  You just never know what you're going to get with her.  She loves dresses, make-up, and princesses, but also loves splashing in mud puddles, jumping off of things, and playing "bad guys" with Ben.

People often ask us where she came from.  She's nothing like me or Sam.  We blame it on her grandmothers...both of them.  (Love you, Mom & Mrs. Lisa!)

Abby brings joy every day just by living her little girl life.  I cannot believe she's turning three (and I still can't believe Ben is six, and I can't believe how old I sound by repeating these things over and over). 

Happy Birthday to my spunky, sweet little girl!  We all love you so!

Preventive, Preventative...uhh, Pre-emptive?

Preventive 8 (47%)
Preventative 8 (47%)
I don't know, but now I'm googling it. 1 (5%)

Deadlocked.  Man, I know how to pick a poll topic. 

I had never heard the term "preventive" until the health care reform debate of late.  All my life, I said "preventative".  Now, I'm afraid I was wrong.  Is it an either or type of thing or is it a different part of speech? 

Come on now, grammar nerds.  It's your time to shine!

10.1 Let the games begin!

October 1st has arrived, and so begins my quest to complete the 101 things on my list in 1001 days.  I was in a bit of a frenzy last night.  These first few days of October promise to be exciting, but busy for me.  I wanted to think of the list and only the list, but I've got the birthdays of three very important people and a baby shower to think about in the next four days alone.

Then I reminded myself that I have 1001 days.  Not 101.  Not 10.  It's not a race, and even if it were, the tortoise reminds me that slow and steady is the way to go.  Right? 

In the spirit of the tortoise, and my very own #62 (which, I have a feeling, will become a theme in a figurative sense throughout my quest), I am going to take it slow & steady.  Today, I am going to write the letter to myself and tuck it into my underwear drawer.  After my busy but fun weekend, I will go at my list with a paced gusto (if that's even possible).

To all the 101 in 1001-ers.  Good luck to you!  I am so excited for us all!
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