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Archive for the category “Random Genius”

Our Reading Rainbow

Books, books everywhere!

My mom retired in¬†2009 after¬†21 years as a teacher. ¬†She spent the last¬†19 years as a reading specialist and then 5th grade reading teacher. ¬†It’s no wonder she’s accumulated such an amazing book collection. ¬†Last weekend the treasure was passed on to my brother and I so that we can share it with our children and instill a love of reading in them as well.

Even before this family treasure was passed down Alex had started herself a pretty good library.  Many individuals gifted us books even before she was born.  I love the gift of books.  Both these from my mom and the ones we received as baby gifts.  A number of people passed on books they had loved reading with their children or that they had loved as kids.  These are my favorites.  Receiving a book as a gift is like being given the gift of time with your children.  Looks like our family has been given countless hours of time together already.

What is/was your favorite children’s book? Dave loved “Danny and the Dinosaur.” ¬†I truthfully can’t remember a favorite from my childhood but my favorite right now is “The Giving Tree.” ¬†I definitely remember my favorites from my tween years: ¬†The Babysitters Club series, Ramona Quimby series, and¬†the Laura Ingalls Wilder series.¬† How about you?¬† Any books you think are mandatory for our collection?

Now I Know My ABC’s

When we bought our house almost every wall was painted bright white. ¬†I got out my paintbrush and in no time added some color. Ultimately that resulted in five blue rooms, two tan, one light yellow, and one light green. ¬†I actually had the forethought to paint our guest room light green assuming that someday we would expand our family and I wanted a nice gender neutral palette so I wasn’t painting a room halfway through a pregnancy.

This worked out pretty well. ¬†Since we didn’t find out pre-birth that Alex was a girl the room was left pretty stark until just recently. ¬†Etsy fixed that for Alex. ¬†One of my new hobbies is browsing Etsy. ¬†I picked this hobby up in the middle of the night.¬† It’s great, there is always something new to look at, unlike Facebook and email (there is surprisingly little new on those sites between 10pm and 7am). ¬†This is how I finally found the thing to decorate Alex’s room with.

TaDaaa!¬† (This photo from my phone doesn’t do it justice.)

Stunning!

Stunning!

This jumbo alphabet is from janeymacpress.  It was quite the project and a team effort.

This is when you fully realize what it means to have ordered the "jumbo" alphabet

This is when you fully realize what it means to have ordered the “jumbo” alphabet

The first stage of installation involves hanging all the letters, without sticking them to the wall; in the presumed locations you want them.¬† I would sit in the rocking chair feeding Alex and Dave would hang the letters.¬† Just imagine hours of this fun…

Dave: ¬†“What’s next?”

Becca:¬† “What letters do we have that are yellow and small?”

Dave:¬† “M and V.”

Becca: ¬†“Ok, take the M and put it on the far right, above the F. ¬†A little to the left, down, more to the left, your other left.¬† Take the right side of the M and move it down, a¬†little more. ¬†Good.”

Five minutes later.

Becca:¬† “I changed my mind. Let’s replace the W with the M.”

Step One

Step One

It’s very important to have two people involved in this process. Not just because it makes installation so much easier, but also because it is imperative to have a second set of eyes on the wall to make sure you haven’t inadvertently spelled inappropriate words. ¬†In fact, one night at 1 a.m. Dave came in to check on Alex and I and I said, “How do you spell turd?” ¬†Dave, “T-E-R-D.” ¬†(Dave did first have to ask me three times what I was asking him and then finally said, “Yep, that’s what I thought you were saying.” ¬†I guess asking someone to spell turd isn’t standard middle of the night conversation.)¬†¬† The jury is still out on the exact spelling of turd, but ironically we had Dave’s version spelled out in giant letters across the wall overtop Alex’s changing table.¬† I will also admit that in the completed installation a strong argument can be made that we now have the words “turd pie” spelled out.

TERD

TERD

We also somehow managed, completely by accident, to have the following letters left as the last ones to put up, “F,” “U,” “C,” “X,” “H,” “O,” and “V.”¬† That spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E in about 10 different combinations.

After all the letters are temporarily taped to the wall it’s time to stick them on semi-permanently (you can peel the letters off with just a little effort).¬† This is a surprisingly easy process. Peel off the back of the letter, align, stick, squeegee, peel off the front, squeegee again, and admire your work.¬† If we didn’t have a newborn we could have knocked this out in just a few hours.¬† With a newborn it required three weeks.

Here is how it evolved…

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I wanted something to add a big pop of color to Alex’s boring neutral walls.¬† I’d say, “Mission Accomplished!”

Mysteries of the Universe

I mentioned in a previous post that I have a lot of free time in the middle of the night when I am up with Alex. I would like to say that I am using that time for deep, meaningful reflection. Nope. I’m sleep deprived, not many meaningful thoughts are hanging around in my brain. Here are two things I’ve been considering recently.

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Why did purple get left out? All the other colors got invited to the party, except purple.

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Breastflow? How are we sure? Is there a group of grown adults at the Breastflow design lab doing a suck-to-suck comparison? And if so, what terrible thing did they do in their lives to deserve that task?

Deep thoughts, I know.

The XX Factor

During spring 2013 I had five close friends who were pregnant. Between March 1 and May 4, if you include Dave and I, there were five little girls and one little boy added. ¬†Now that’s girl power! ¬†My personal theory is that the hot spring/summer of 2012 killed off all the boy sperm.¬† Seriously, it’s a scientific fact that male sperm can’t take the heat (you know, the weaker of the two sexes), hence a lot more little ladies being born in March, April, and May than little boys. ¬†We can debate this later.

What astonishes me is that within my group of best girlfriends (friends since kindergarten besties) we will be going six for six in girls over an 18 ¬†month period! ¬†In fact, three of those little girls were born within four weeks of each other (no, we didn’t plan that).

May 4, April 20, April 9, 2013.

May 4, April 20, April 9, 2013.

That's one good lookin' group!

That’s one good lookin’ group!

There’s no guarantee that these little ladies will be as great of friends as the first generation. ¬†But if friendship is hereditary they have a pretty good shot!

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

I’ve been going through my baby book lately comparing myself to Alex. It’s been fun to compare. For example, at Alex’s one month well baby check-up she was about the same size I was at birth. Yikes! ¬†Sorry mom. I also found this picture. It’s from my three year old tap dance class. I’m in the middle row, the furthest to the right. Do you have as many questions running through your head when you see this picture as I do?

Bunnies:  Spring 1985

Bunnies: Spring 1985

Here’s what I’m wondering.
Р Are we dressed as Playboy bunnies?!?!
– ¬†If the answer to that question is “yes,” even if it was unintentional, who thought that look was a good idea for three-year-olds?
– ¬†Do I look like I’m playing the part a little too well? ¬†Who taught me that pose?
– ¬†Why isn’t anyone smiling? ¬†Have you ever seen such an unhappy group of girls who are dressed up, wearing makeup, and ready to dance?

Regardless of what the answers to these questions are, I still think we are pretty cute!

Back in Action

So… Dave and I had a baby, hence I’ve been completely negligent on blogging for awhile. ¬†Now that Alexandra has arrived I have even less time to do anything non-baby, but I do have copious amounts of time from 10pm-4am while I’m holding Alex so she will sleep¬†and I need a way to help pass the time.

We have been blessed with an extremely happy, healthy, energetic little girl. She loves to play, I know, she’s only eight weeks, but she really does love playing, and sing and dance with her mom. ¬†We have also been blessed with what our pediatrician labeled, “a high maintenance baby.” Alex can’t help it, she’s just being a baby.¬†¬†She loves to eat (did I mention she’s smart too, only wants the boob) and likes sleeping (but only cuddled on her mommy, never in the crib). ¬†We have tried and are continuing to try everything. If you have a suggestion, we will take it, but trust me when I say we have tried EVERYTHING. ¬†I frequently wonder what we did to foster this behavior. The answer I’ve come to is… Nothing. ¬†She literally seemed to be born hardwired like this.

So, I’ll be using the night time “free time” that I have to come¬†back to blogging. ¬†There will likely be a lot of baby talk for the next few months because that’s generally first on my mind when I’ll be writing these at 2am, and it’s really all I do now other than pee and occasionally get to shower. ¬†For now, let’s focus on a few pictures of our adorable, happy baby.

 

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That Sucked

Wow, what a way to start out a work week.¬† On Monday morning before 6:30 a.m. I found myself on the floor in our basement with my ponytail stuck inside our vacuum cleaner.¬† Let me explain…

The Scene of the Crime

The Scene of the Crime

For the last few weeks I’ve been noticing how dirty and dusty it is under my treadmill.¬† The dust bunnies were more like dust elephants.¬† Monday morning I finally got fed up with it enough to pull out the vacuum and take care of things.¬† Of course I never think to do these things at 6 p.m., it’s only 6 a.m. when the issue is right in my face.¬† Dave was also gone Monday morning so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to vacuum a little without risking waking him up.

The Attacker

The Attacker

Everything went fine until I got down on my hands and knees and put my head against the ground so I could see under the treadmill.¬† That’s when the brushes of our vacuum picked up my ponytail and wrapped my hair around the revolving belt so fast it took my breath away.¬† Remember the part in this story about Dave being gone?¬† Well, that meant that I was home alone with my hair caught in the bottom of the vacuum and my screams of pain were going unanswered.¬† In hindsight I think it was a good thing that Dave wasn’t home because I would have had him bring down a scissors to cut out my hair.¬† I had to go with the much more patient approach of unwinding my hair and pulling it out just a few strands at a time.¬† My head was literally within a few inches of the bottom of the vacuum.¬† There was no way I could carry a vacuum on my head up the stairs to find scissors.¬† So with my head pressed to the floor I got to work.

The Innocent Victim

The Innocent Victim

You’ll be relieved to know that I survived and so did my hair.¬† I’m only down a few strands.¬† Maybe my hair even has a little extra volume after the whole ordeal.¬† ūüôā

Kale to the Chief

I’d like to advocate for a green leafy cabbage that until Saturday night I don’t think had ever crossed my lips… KALE!¬† You may have been eating pizza and drinking beer while watching the Packer vs 49ers, not us, we were enjoying the goodness of kale.¬† This ancient form of cabbage has recently experienced growing notoriety for its taste and health benefits.¬† We were a little slow to get on the band wagon but now I would consider us hooked.¬† With just a few cups you can get your daily allowance of vitamin C (also important to help fight the nasty flu that’s going around) and vitamin A AND kale contains chemicals that have been shown to repair DNA and prevent cancer.¬† Thank you kale!

January 12, 2013:  Delicious Kale

January 12, 2013:  I look really tired in this picture, maybe eating more kale would help me sleep better too

It is also amazing because in less than five minutes you can have a meal.  Sauté a little kale in olive oil with a little salt and pepper for five minutes.  A few other delicious ideas are butternut squash and kale quesadillas or kale slaw.  Both are very easy.

We will be adding kale to our garden this summer. If anyone has any delicious kale recipes, please send them my way.

Big Fish, Little Pond

For the last week I have been on a desperate search to find a pool to swim in.  Either you need to join the fitness club or they want to charge you $10 for an hour of swimming.  Today I finally found a place that would take me, a local high school that has Saturday afternoon lap swim.  Success!  Kind of.

First, I have officially graduated to a moo-moo swimsuit.¬† Here it is, in all its glory.¬† I love it though, it’s comfortable and the skirt covers all the details that should remain personally confidential.¬†

The Suit

The Suit

Second, swimming is tough and my arms are not in shape.  90 minutes of swimming is equally as challenging as 90 minutes of running.  I also find it to be a great way to stretch my abs.

Third and final, locker room fun.¬† This particular high school has a classic 1970’s locker room and it hasn’t seen an update since.¬† It also has some interesting features.¬† For example, there were doors everywhere.¬† Doors leading to other mini locker rooms and offices which generated constant traffic.¬† There were even doors leading into the shower.¬† Now, I take a shower after swimming so I probably completely traumatized the jv girls’ basketball team when they traversed through the shower area as I was in the midst of my shower.¬† Unless things have dramatically changed, high school girls generally don’t take showers in the locker room.¬† I’m sure they talked about the show I gave them after I was out of earshot.¬† “Seriously, who showers in a locker room?”¬† This locker room also has the gym teacher’s office in it with giant windows that overlook the changing area.¬† She also must just be the jv girls’ basketball coach because she was in this afternoon, checking her email, doing paperwork, etc.¬†

Well ladies, see you next week!¬† ūüôā

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