Wednesday, February 29, 2012

cakes are awesome

i don't know about you, but i love me a good cake.  my go-to is probably chocolate with white icing, but my all-time favorite was our wedding cake - pink champagne with whipped strawberry filling and white chocolate buttercream icing.  holy crap, i'm dying inside just thinking about it.  the funny thing about our wedding cake was that, even though i am a huge cake fan and i love watching the cake shows on tv (except for cake boss because i cannot stand buddy and the way he says "fahn-dahnt" annoys the shit out of me), i had absolutely no desire to make our cake some big elaborate thing.  we wanted it to be simple and understated.

by everlasting images
i also love the blog cakewrecks.  if you haven't checked it out, you should.  it is hysterical.  but while i find the daily nonsense of awful cakes wonderful, my favorite part is their sunday sweets series.  each sunday, they feature some of the most gorgeous cakes i've ever seen.  here are some of my favorites, and had matt and i felt adventurous and/or like spending significantly more on our cake than we had budgeted for, i would have gone with something like any of these.

source: from cakewrecks on pinterest

source: via amy on pinterest

source: karasparty on via christina on pinterest

source: from lunaandchloewedding via kim on pinterest

but my favorite cakes are the whimsical cakes.  the ones that defy gravity.  the ones with all kinds of intricate details.  the ones that depict scenes from movies or books.  the ones that have fun!

source: from cakewrecks on pinterest

source: from cakewrecks on pinterest

source: from cakewrecks on pinterest

source: from cakewrecks on pinterest

aren't they amazing?  linking up again for oh, how pinteresting wednesdays with the lovely michelle at the vintage apple

source: the vintage apple

hope everyone has a fabulous wednesday!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


matt and i have talked a lot about our plans for what we'll do when a baby arrives and we have to go to work.  for me, i've never really even considered the idea of being a stay-at-home mom.  it just doesn't seem like something i would enjoy, to be honest.  i mean, i'm sure being home and spending all that time with your child is wonderful, but i like my job and - more importantly - i like being able to get out of the house and engage in stimulating, adult conversation.  that's not to say that adult conversation isn't possible for a sahm, as you can obviously have playdates and join mommy and me classes and whatnot.  but i like the people that i work with and - as much as this job stresses me out and makes me nuts - i'd miss doing what i do every day.  not to mention, being a sahm mom isn't just staying at home and playing with the kid.  there are chores to do and errands to's a lot of work!  so, yeah, that's not really for me.

matt has hinted at being a stay-at-home dad, which i'm fine with.  financially, i think it would be a bit of a struggle, but probably no more so than it will be for the first few years with a child in daycare.  daycare is expensive, and sometimes it's just not worth spending more than 1/2 of one of your salaries on it.  we'll have to sit down and do the math, but it may just about even out and make having a sahp be more worth it.   but if it is, matt will probably be the sahp, not me. 


in my mind, the answer has always been daycare.  it's a no-brainer for me.  i grew up in daycare.  i went from the time i was 6 weeks old until i was (i think) 11.  and my sister was in it with me until she was (i think) 7.  and both of us turned out ok. 

i've heard and read that a lot of women don't want to put their kids in daycare because they worry that their child will feel abandoned.  they worry that they won't get enough time with their kids.  they worry that they'll miss out on important milestones.  and some of that may be true.  but as a product of the daycare world, i can tell you that i never once felt abandoned by my parents.  i never once felt like they didn't want to be with me.  i never once felt like they missed anything.  at least, i don't remember ever feeling any of that.  sure, maybe i did when i was, like, 2, but obviously the feeling didn't stick around long and it certainly didn't scar me for life.  i have no attachment issues.  my mom traveled a lot for work when we were younger and i still don't feel like she missed out on anything.  i remember her always being there for the important things - school plays, dance recitals (and the dress rehearsals), piano recitals, synchronized swimming shows and competitions, cheerleading tryouts.  she was there when it counted, and that's what i remember. 

i think as long as your children get a sense that you care and that you'll be there for them, they'll make it through daycare just fine.  daycare provides socialization opportunities for your child that a few playdates and mommy and me classes a week just can't match.  it exposes them to germs, and builds up their immune systems.  it also, i think, encourages independence. 

what are your thoughts on daycare?  what drove your decisions to do daycare vs. sahp?

Monday, February 27, 2012


according to ovuview and fertilityfriend, my o date was monday 2/20.  so we are now officially in the 2 week wait.  i am behaving as though i'm pregnant - i skipped a beer fest on saturday and i'm trying to eat and drink a bit more conciously than i usually do.  af is due on 3/6, and i should poas on 3/10 (if af doesn't show up). 

keep your fingers crossed and send me baby dust!

***if you have any questions about any of the abbreviations in this post, please refer to my cheat sheet on the sidebar***

Sunday, February 26, 2012

poor padfoot

yesterday i noticed that padfoot's left eye was looking a little bit funky.  she kept squinting it and her eye looked cloudy.  i also noticed that her inner eyelid looked pink and irritated.  yesterday i told matt that if it didn't look any better today, i was going to take her to the vet.  well, it didn't look any better when we got up this morning, so i called and made an emergency appointment at a local vet office and took her in.

it was obviously our first trip to the vet, and i'm really pleased with the office i chose.  everyone i dealt with there was really sweet, and the nurse and the doctor were both just great with padfoot.  after careful exam, it turns out padfoot has some inflammation in her eye, most likely due to an infection.  the vet wants to just treat her and hope it clears up.  if not, they'll have to test for which infection it is and then treat more specifically, possibly with iv antibiotics.  anyway, they did a complete eye exam.  i mean, like checked the pressure in her eyes and everything.  it was incredible.  and all through it, padfoot stayed calm and (mostly) cooperative.  i can tell you, she is not a fan of eye drops!

the vet is concerned she may have toxoplasmosis.  if you recall, toxo is the reason why pregnant women should not handle kitty litter.  the vet warned me that if i'm pregnant or trying to get pregnant, i should steer clear of padfoot's litter box.  so this afternoon, when we got home from filling her prescription at target (can i tell you how weird it felt to fill out a patient record for "padfoot [lastname]?"), i showed matt how to clean out and change the litter box.  matt is officially on litter box duty.

anyway, i now have to give her antibiotics (by mouth) twice a day, a pain relief eye drop twice a day, and steroid eye drops 4 times a day.  poor kitty is going to hate me!  she got pretty mad at me when i gave her her first sets of drops and antibiotics today, and it's only going to get worse as she starts to recognize it.  but i can't look at this little face and not want to make her feel better!

hopefully she just has some random infection and not toxoplasmosis.  and hopefully she feels better soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

harry potter challenge day 4

4. least favorite female character and why

source: harry potter wiki

dolores umbridge.  i know a lot of people probably say bellatrix lestrange, and i considered her for a moment.  but to me, dolores umbridge was pure evil.  with her sick little giggle, her delight in torturing harry, and her utter disdain for muggles and half-bloods.  she made my skin crawl.   i hated her in the movies, and i hated her even more in the books.  remember how cruel she was to firenze?  and how horribly she treated professor trelawney?  and hagrid?  oh, she was just awful. 

look at that look on her face in this picture, even.  that look says "i'm going to eat you alive, mudblood."  ick.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

news notes

turning your pet into a locavore is the newest way to be an asshole - i mean...i know that people love their pets, but this is just silly.  your dog or cat honestly doesn't care what they're eating.  as long as it goes in their stomach, i think they consider that good enough.  i get wanting to make sure your pet is eating healthy, but, my goodness.

this isn't so much of a news story, just a funny thing i found the other day.  brad pitt's laugh is funny, but anderson cooper's laugh is downright awesome-balls.  you should check on some of the other things on the ridiculist.  some of them are pretty hysterical.

vieques: the caribbean's unlikely design destination - oh my goodness this sounds like heaven.  also, you should go to the website of the hotel.  those views are stellar.  i need to go there.  yesterday.

adele responds to karl lagerfeld's 'fat' remark - karl lagerfeld is an ass. adele is gorgeous.  i have always found him to be super creepy.

addiction is not hopeless -i see addiction a lot in my job, and it really is heartbreaking.  especially when you're seeing someone who so desperately wants to quit using, but is powerless against the disease.  i really hope that someone figures out an effective way to treat addiction and to help people suffer less.  unfortunately, in philadelphia, our budget is getting cut to the point that mental health funding is being slashed by millions, meaning that those who want help may not get it.  ugh.

health official: proposed budget cuts 'a recipe for disaster' - tying into the above headline.  thanks again, governor corbett.  you really are an ass.

thousands of afghans vent fury outside us base over quran burning - what the fuck were these people thinking to burn the quran?  they say it was an accident and that they weren't aware there were copies of the muslim holy book in the pile of trash they set ablaze, but...c'mon.  you're in a foreign country where half the citizens don't want you to be, you are already considered an outsider and a threat to their way of life.  be a bit more mindful, would ya?  it's just stupidity.

stepmom charged with murder gives birth - all i can say is really hope that dhs is able to find safe placement for the baby and other child in the home.  also, i love all the comments saying that a 3-hour run should not have killed the girl.  she's 9!  lesser runs have been known to drop trained athletes!  come on, people!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

it's a pinteresting kind of day

it's wednesday, yay!  seriously, this week feels like it's crawling.  it probably has to do with the fact that i think my body is still catching up to my wild saturday night.  that and all day long, all i think about is getting home to play with padfoot.  you guys, she's the cutest thing ever.  last night she was sitting in my lap while we were watching tv, and i just kept staring at her.  at one point, i looked at matt and said "if i'm this obsessed with our cat, i'm going to be a freaking nut-job about our kids."

anyway, you know what wednesday means (other than the fact that the week is half over, thank goodness), right?


linking up with michelle at the vintage apple for oh, how pinteresting wednesday!

source: via jillian on pinterest
source: from etsy via jennifer on pinterest

source: from babyspace via jenny on pinterest
source: from chiccheapnursery on pinterest
source: blondebirdie via abbey on pinterest
source: style via elena on pinterest
head on over to the vintage apple, grab a button, and join the pinterest party!  have a great hump day, everyone!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

party like a rock star

this weekend, before we adopted padfoot, i was in hershey hanging out with one of my besties.  nicole and i grew up together, and we have been friends since about the 8th grade.  she was one of my bridesmaids, and she is just generally one of my favorite people.

nicole is single mom to a really cute little boy.  he is 6 years old.  nicole is a widow.  her husband died 5 1/2 years ago from a sudden heart attack.  if you do the math, nicole had a 6-month-old baby when her husband died.  while she obviously still grieves for scott, she has handled the life she was given with grace and humor, and i admire her so much.  she is raising her son to be a wonderful boy.

however, because she is truly a single mom who doesn't even get a break every other weekend like many others, she gets overwhelmed and sometimes she just needs a girls' night out.  for that, i am happy to oblige.  so every few months, i take a trip back to hershey and the two of us go out.  and that was this weekend.  and, boy, did we ever go out.

we started our night off with shopping.  i had a few christmas gifts i needed to exchange at the outlets, so we headed over.  did you guys know that the ann taylor loft store in the mall has completely different clothing than the loft outlet?  well, it does, and the loft outlet is incredible.  i exchanged a sweater and also got a really cute dress.  the sweater was $13 (but free, as an even exchange) and the dress was originally $80, marked down to $35, further reduced to $27.  score!

after that we headed to troegs.  troegs is a local brewery.  they used to operate out of harrisburg, but recently moved to hershey after my step-father sold them an old hershey meat-packaging factory (go, jeff!).  it opened at thanksgiving, but so far we hadn't had a chance to go.  the brewery and tasting room is a huge space and it looks great inside.  i definitely want to go back and get a tour and see the whole operation.

troegs logo
the bar and tasting room

after we had a beer at troegs, our plan was initially to head out to lancaster.  but while we were sitting there, we decided we didn't want to drive all the way to lancaster (it's about 45 minutes), so nicole suggested the casino.  the casino has been open for probably 4 years and i had not been there yet, so i was definitely game.

hollywood casino
our first stop was the steakhouse, since i hadn't eaten a thing all day, and we had dinner and a drink (an amazing pear martini - yum!).  after that we headed to the dance floor where a live band was playing.  you guys, i had so much fun.  i cannot tell you the last time i had a full-on dance party like that.  we were planning to head home around midnight.  yeah...we didn't leave until about 2:30am.  we had a blast!  we also met a group of guys who were really fun, and the one guy actually went to bloomsburg with me!  i didn't know him at bloom, but it was fun to talk about the campus and professors and stuff.  when we left, i made nicole go back to get his number, because he was just adorable.  i hope she calls him!

my and my girl

anyway, yesterday, i was really feeling the 4+ hours we spent on the dance floor!  and on sunday, even though i only had 2 drinks all night, i felt like a mac truck hit me.  i think it was because of all the yelling we had to do over the band, and also because they allow smoking in the casino.  but my whole body was sore yesterday, and it really has me thinking i need to take some sort of dance class for exercise.  i used to swear i would never do zumba, but now i'm starting to reconsider...

Monday, February 20, 2012


yesterday, matt and i picked up our new baby and brought her home.  friends, meet padfoot!


i am completely in love with her.  we picked her up yesterday afternoon and brought her home.  right now she is staying in our guest bedroom (aptly named the blue room).  everything that i've read says that you should leave them in a room on their own for a day or two so they can get acclimated to the sounds and smells of the house.  so she spent most of the day yesterday in there, all last night, and will probably spend most of the day in there.  matt has the day off, so he may open the door and let her come out and explore on her own. 

she is such a little lovie, you guys.  when we first walk into the room (i went to visit her a few times yesterday and then a couple times this morning), she hides under the bed.  but once i get down to the floor and talk to her a bit, she comes around and comes out.  as soon as she feels comfortable with who i am, she starts purring.  and she never.stops.  she is a purr machine!  i've never heard a cat purr as much as padfoot does. 

i brought her up onto the bed with me, and she was crawling all over me.  she was sniffing me out, nudging up to me, laying on me, and kneading me with her paws.  she has yet to meow but occasionally there will be some tone to her purring. 

she didn't eat all day yesterday, but when i checked her bowl this morning, it looks like she ate a bit overnight.  she hasn't used the litterbox yet, but i'm assuming that will change now that' she's eaten. 

i can't wait to get home today and play with her some more. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

harry potter 30 day challenge - 3

3. are there any film adaptations that have made you angry because they ignored important parts of the book?
harry potter and the order of the phoenix was my favorite book because it gave so much great background, and i always feel like the movie missed a lot.  in the book, the scene in the department of mysteries was epic.  i mean, ron gets hit by a lunacy spell and goes completely bonkers, which was such awesome comic relief in a part of the book that was really tense; hermoine gets stunned and has to be carried out; neville breaks his nose.  you got to understand so much more about why voldemort was after harry.  and that the prophecy (which they barely touch on in the movie) could have actually been about neville, but voldemort chose harry.  you also meet neville's grandmother and see that his parents aren't dead, but instead chronically hospitalized, thanks to the torture of the death eaters, namely bellatrix lestrange.  there is nothing in the movie about that.  the movie also completely misses the plot line where firenze (a centaur) takes over in teaching divination classes after umbridge fired professor trelawny and how horribly wrong that went.  we also get to find out why harry must continue to stay with the dursleys.

i just felt like the movie missed a lot of that, and some of it was pretty important to the story.  i found myself having to explain some of it to matt when we watched the movie because he'd never read the books and therefore missed some of the connections.  i still loved the movie and it's probably my second favorite after harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2.  i just think they could have elaborated on a few things.  although, it probably would have made the movie about 5 hours long.  it must have been hard to decide what to include and what to cut out in making these movies.  a task for which i definitely do not envy the screenwriters!

Friday, February 17, 2012

and we're off

***disclaimer - lots of talk about cycles and sex in here!  if this makes you uncomfortable, stop reading!***

we're in the thick of cycle 4 now.  i'm on cd12 and - according to ovuview - i'm 4 days away from o-day.  my bbt is pretty steady, ranging from 97.0-97.3.  one morning it was 97.6, but i think it's because i hadn't slept well that night and had basically been awake for hours before i took it, tossing and turning and getting up to get a drink.  i think that was an inaccurate temp that day.  if ovuview is correct, i should see a spike in my bbt on tuesday. 

everything i've read says to bd every other day from cd8 until cd22 or so.  i've also read that the day before o-day is an excellent day to bd.  so we started on cd9 and have gone every other day.  that'll have us bd'ing on the day before o. 

i'm really hoping that ramping up our efforts will give us some results!  i never really understood why people say they're "trying" to have a baby.  now i do.  cuz it does take work, and timing, and effort.  it's a lot to keep track of!  but hey, at least it's fun work!

***if you have any questions about any of the abbreviations in this post, please refer to my cheat sheet on the sidebar***

Thursday, February 16, 2012

news notes

here's a summary of the news headlines that have caught my eye over the past week.

most popular photos on stumbleupon - you guys have got to take a look at these photos.  oh. my. goodness.  they are absolutely incredible.

10 states given no child left behind learning laws - i'm not a teacher, but even i could see from the get-go that no child left behind was a bad idea.  it's nice to see that finally states are able to do something about it and fix the failing schools.

does the 2011 photo of the year look familiar? - this photo is just beautiful.  the composition, the emotion.  it does remind me of the pieta, and that's probably part of why i love it so much.  the pieta was the first piece of art that actually moved me to tears.  i remember standing there in st. peter's basilica, staring at it with tears streaming down my face, feeling mary's overwhelming sadness and pain.

i'm not ok with chris brown performing and the grammys and i'm not sure why you are - this article highlights everything that was wrong about the entire chris brown/rihanna situation.  and what continues to be wrong about it.  it is a blatant lack of respect for victims of domestic violence and showcases the stigma that exists to this today of "blaming the victim."  also, have you heard the rumor that they're secretly dating again?  that makes me sick.

santorum's stone-age few of women - all i can say is, if santorum gets elected president, then women of the united states are in big trouble.  did you know he wants to make birth control illegal?  yup.  not just abortion (which is bad enough), but birth control.  he wants to shut down planned parenthood.  completely.  and he thinks that a woman's rightful place is at home, in the kitchen, serving her husband.  as my aunt whitney put it, "can you say troglodyte?"

pittsburgh steelers wr antonio brown makes special fan connection at super bowl via twitter - oh, man, i love you, antonio brown.  i totally wish this would happen to me.  but with hines ward.

pa amazon users to feel sales tax bite - governor corbett, you seriously blow.  first you cut funding for arts programs.  then you cut funding for important social programs.  you promised no new taxes, but now this.  you, sir, are an asshole.

walk with me - you guys, slow walkers are the bane of my existence.  i'm serious.  i walk 8 blocks between the train station and work every day, twice a day.  inevitably, i get stuck behind a slow walker.  it wouldn't be so bad if they just stuck to the "slow lane" and i could pass.  but no, they sort of amble all over the sidewalk so that half the time, i'll end up walking into the street just to get past them.  it is so annoying.  and like the author in the article says, don't even get me started on the sudden stoppers.  you know the ones, they stop abruptly to answer a text or update their facebook, causing me to nearly run into them.  i want to scream at them, "don't stop in the middle of fucking sidewalk, asshole!"  yeah, it makes me curse.

new technology allows parents to monitor students' lunches - i actually saw this news story yesterday and thought it was awesome.  unlike the story about the school dictating what the child can/should eat, this allows the parents to have total control.  i think it's genius and i hope that by the time our kids are in school, all schools will have this system.

nj governor rejects criticism of houston, defends decision to lower flags to half-staff -call me crazy, but i think that lowering the flag to half-staff should be reserved for government officials and military members.  nobody lowered the flag to half-staff when michael jackson died, and as far as i'm concerned, he was a bigger cultural icon than whitney houston could ever be.  don't get me wrong, i loved me some whitney, but...this is just ridiculous.  as far as i'm concerned, this is just another way for christie to be in the media.  the guy is as big an attention-whore as the cast of the jersey shore is.

i'm going to try to make this a weekly feature.  have you read any good news stories this week?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

pinteresting vacations

it's wednesday, which means it's time for oh, how pinteresting wednesday!  head on over to the vintage apple, grab a button, and join in the fun!

source: the vintage apple

matt and i like to take at least one vacation a year.  that's usually all we can really afford, financially and time-off-work-wise.  we try to take a few small long weekends throughout the year, too.  this year, we've decided we're going to atlanta and savannah, ga.  i've been to atlanta before, but never to savannah, and i've always wanted to go.  matt's never been to either place.  but we didn't choose it completely haphazardly.  you may remember my bm abriel?  she's the one who i consigned my dress with last year.  she and her family (hubby and son) live in peachtree city, which is about 45 minutes southeast of atlanta.  so we're going to visit them and then take a drive to savannah, just the 2 of us.  i can't wait.

we'll start off in peachtree city, ga.  peachtree is a golf-cart community.

source: from google on pinterest

source: from google on pinterest
basically, it means you can get anywhere in town by car or by cart.  matt and i had a taste of this in october when we stayed at my parent's house in the villages, fl, and we completely loved it.  we were tempted to never come home!  it's so fun and so conveninent to be able to just jump in a golf cart and get where you need to go!  i seriously think we may just stay in peachtree forever!

while we're there, we'll definitely go see abriel's shop.  the pictures she's sent me of the store are beautiful, and i cannot wait to see it in person!  the shop is located in senoia, ga, which looks like an adorable little town with a cute historical downtown district.  it also happens to be where the amc show walking dead is filmed, so we might even have a celeb-sighting!

source: from panoramio on pinterest
source: from flickr on pinterest
after spending a few days with abriel and her family, we'll drive over to savannah for a few nights.  my mom used to go to savannah a lot for business, and the way she used to talk about the town, i always thought it sounded magical.  the river, the sweeping live oaks with spanish moss, the big southern homes...well, and then if you read midnight in the garden of good and evil, you know that town just has so much fun and mystery and good old southern charm. 

source: usnews from pinterest

source: from gardenandgun via leeann on pinterest

source: from kevinandamanda via traceann on pinterest

source: usnews on pinterest
source: google on pinterst
source: usnews via jennifer on pinterest
so there it is.  our vacation for the year.  i talked to abriel the other night and it looks like the first weekend is may is the date!  i cannot tell you how excited i am! 

do you have any vacation plans for the year?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

valentine's day

technically, we celebrated valentine's day on saturday with dinner at bonefish and the bruce hornsby show.  tonight, i'm making butternut squash risotto and maybe we'll have a glass of wine.  then tomorrow, matt is taking me to see the vow.  i know, isn't he the best?  

source: from photobucket via pinterest
happy valentine's day to my husband - my perfect partner in weird!

do you have any plans for valentine's day?

Monday, February 13, 2012

weekend wrap-up

i hope you guys all had a good weekend!  matt and i had a very busy and very successful weekend. 

friday night, we just had a low-key night at home.  we had a lot of tv to catch up on on the dvr, so we watched that and then a couple episodes of shameless.  have you watched that show at all?  it's fantastic. 

saturday morning we woke up and went out to run some errands.  we'd been talking for a while about adopting a cat, and matt said he'd get me one for my birthday.  so we decided we'd stop over at petsmart to see what they had and get some more information about adopting.  well, we got there and a big local shelter had several cats there.  we talked with them a bit, and looked around.  there was one cat that i just couldn't take my eyes off of, so they took her (and her sister) out of the cage and brought us back into a little room where we could play with them and get to know them.  once we got them out of the crate, bailey was climbing all over us.  her sister, brandy, was much more subdued and shy, but bailey was really fun.  that sealed the deal.  next thing i knew, we were filling out an application and waiting to hear if we'd get approved.  we got the call on sunday that we were our approved and we're picking her up next weekend! 

the shelter has been calling her bailey, but matt and i think we'll probably rename her.  we're thinking of calling her padfoot, after sirius's animagus identity.  told you, harry potter nerd, right here.  she's a black and brown tortie (tortoise shell coat) with orange spots.  her whole nose is orange.  she's super adorable and very sweet and i can't wait to bring her home!  i was hoping i'd be able to find a picture of her on the shelter's website, but she's not listed.  but don't worry, i'll have plenty of pictures next weekend!

anyway, after that, we did our grocery shopping and headed home to relax a few hours before going out for dinner.  we went to bonefish grill for dinner, and then went to the keswick theater to see bruce hornsby perform.  i have now seen bruce 3 times (at least) and every single time he blows my mind.  the man just oozes talent.  once the show was over we went home and watched my girlfriend, zooey deschanel, host saturday night live.  there were definitely some misses, but there were some real hits.  matt and i especially loved this skit - we could not stop laughing.

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sunday was more errands and shopping.  we headed over to the mall to pick up some slippers for matt and check out the gap and williams-sonomo, since i have gift cards to both.  while we were looking for slippers at macy's, we decided to look at their bedding.  i've been saying for a while now that i wanted to get new bedding for our bedroom, and i had a macy's gift card, so we thought we'd see what they had.  well, we found a gorgeous martha stewart 24-piece collection that we really liked.  originally priced at $400, it was marked on-sale for $199.  but when the guy rang it up, it was $109.  then he gave us the 10% off for macy's card holders.  and i had a $50 gift card.  so we walked out of there spending $50 on a $400 set.  amazeballs!!  matt did find slippers, too, and i finally got an apron at williams-sonoma! 

how was your weekend?  any big impulse purchases like us?!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


ok, so by now you've probably heard about that article in the wall street journal about why french parents are superior.  i'd heard about it last week, i think, but didn't actually read it until i read this post on hellobee yesterday.  i thought the hellobee post was really interesting, and since people in the comments related it to the article, i thought i'd check out the article.

i gotta admit, i'm fascinated.  i'm a social worker.  you know this by now.  but my minor in college, and something i've always been interested in, was sociology.  sociology is, by definition, the scientific study of society.  i think the study of social norms and values is so amazing.  so this article really piqued my interest.

anyway, as i read this post, i was reminded of a post i read a month ago on hellobee about benign neglect.  at the time, i remember thinking to myself, "i should blog about this, it's really interesting."  then i forgot.  so i'm back, thinking about it, so here i am.

i believe in benign neglect and executive function.  when i was growing up, my parents would leave me and my sister to our own devices.  sometimes for hours at a time.  sure, they were always around, but i can specifically remember chunks of time when callie and i were in our rooms playing or reading.  there are pictures of us on our beds, playing with our care bears and singing along to our tape recorders.  we used to steal my mom's voice recorder and record stupid skits and messages for her.  we would make up dances.  i remember doing the same thing with our friends, too.  we definitely had nintendo and played it quite a bit, but for the most part, we were outside playing games or inside being creative. 

and, if i do say so myself, i think we turned out pretty damn good.  we are successful adults with steady, important jobs and in happy, stable marriages.  we did well in school and get along well with others.  we have lots of friends and are successfully social beings.  but we can also be perfectly content to sit at home and read or watch movies by ourselves.

as i read the article about french parents, all i could think was, "i hope i can raise our children like that."  i hope that our kids show restraint and don't demand immediate gratification. i hope to teach our children that, while they are important, they are not the only thing in our lives that deserve/demand attention.  so does our marriage.  so do our jobs, our friends, our families...plenty of other things.  i hope to be that french mother that tells her interrupting child "just wait, mommy will be with you in 2 minutes, she's busy talking to her friend right now."  and i hope our child waits patiently.

i like the idea of buying snacks for children, but making them wait to eat until it's snack time.  children who have free reign to the fridge end up being children who are obese.  maybe that's a gross generalization, but...honestly.  if i exhibited no self-control and ate whatever i felt like whenever i felt like it, i'd be much heavier than i am.  no matter how much i exercised. children should be taught self-control and delayed gratification.  that hershey kiss will not taste any better right now than it will in 30 minutes when it's snack time.

so many of our friends' children do not know how to do this.  they interrupt and nag and pull on sweaters and poke and hit until they get what they want.  and their parents let them.  i think that does the children a disservice.  this leads them to believe that their needs are more important than anyone else's, and they grow up expecting that from life.  that's not a fair lesson to teach our children, because, as we all know, life doesn't work that way.

matt and i have already discussed the fact that we are not going to buy cars with dvd players in them.  my sister and i went on 10-hour road trips every year of our lives, and we didn't have dvd players.  we sang songs, we played "i spy," and we read.  we entertained ourselves.  and i plan to encourage my children to do the same.

i don't know how my parents taught us this.  maybe they just left us alone and forced us to figure out our own entertainment.  maybe they got us started coloring and then left us alone to keep going.  i don't know.  but i hope that i can figure it out.  i intend to practice benign neglect.  i hope to encourage executive function.  and i hope to be a french parent rather than an american one.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

30 day harry potter challenge - 2

2. your favorite movie


i'm probably among the minority here, but my favorite is the last one.  i was so happy with the way they pulled it all together and ended it.  i cry when snape reveals his patronus and whispers, "always."  i cheer when mrs. weasley steps in and says, "not my daughter, you bitch."  i swoon when ron and hermione finally kiss.  i swell with pride when neville reminds the death eaters that it's not just about harry but about all of them.  the whole series wrapped so beautifully.  and i will watch it again and again and again.