Friday, July 29, 2011


Hi, my name is Kate and I have a problem...

I went to Micheal's dollar days sale.
 I'm addicted to craft supplies.

Our craft box after my 2ND trip to Micheal's.
 Yarn is my best friend and worst enemy...

I keep telling myself, the etsy store will make up for this...
 My family only enables me...

Getting ready to paint.

Or is it me starting something in them??? ;)

She likes to dribble...definitely modern art. Possibly some Pollack influence.
Anyone know a good support group? Maybe a CA- Crafters Anonymous?? ;)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


So an old colleague of mine is in the hospital.  He is an amazing scientist and is a legend in the drug addiction field. He helped me throughout my graduate career and even helped me find my current postdoc.  I cannot fathom the number of young scientists he has mentored or influenced.  He is truly a wonderful person.

Right now he is in ICU, following surgery to repair a tear in his GI tract.  The prognosis isn't bad, but I know he and his family would appreciative prayers for a speedy recovery. 

I know I especially would appreciate it too. 

Granola...yeah, I guess so.

So it's happened.

I'm a completely granola mom.

I never thought it would happen, but the evidence is all there. Though I must warn you I sound pretentious, but I swear I'm not. I just do what is best for my family and if you do something different no bigs, this is just me...being a big ole hippie. ;)

1) I exclusively breastfeed. Apparently, this is now associated with being a hippie, which boggles my mind.

2) I also plan to allow Evie to self wean. I did the same for Elizabeth, only she wanted to quit at a year...I'm hoping Evie will do more than a year, but we'll see.

3) I sometimes co-sleep. I don't do it much anymore, but it is nice. Plus up to three months Evie was sleeping in the bassinet by our bed.

4) I cloth diaper. I love this, as Evie's skin looks great, we're not throwing anything away, and it saves us a TON of money!! But I did use disposables with Elizabeth.  I was full time then and she went to daycare.  Daycare = no cloth.

5) I make my own baby food. Even my own cereal...

6) I use cloth wipes, see #4.

7) I garden and try to stay organic. Again I love this, because there is a huge satisfaction growing your own food.

8) I make my own jams, jellies, freeze produce, and I'm learning to can and pickle. Big thanks to my mom, who is helping learn on my hippie journeying, by teaching me all this stuff.

9) I crochet most of our hats and scarfs. I try to make clothes for the girls. Though I've not been successful on the clothes.

10) I shop at a locally owned grocery store, keeping profits here in the USA. Ummm, this is more of a convenience thing as I hate the other grocery store in our area.

11) I shop as much as I can at the Farmer's market. This includes buying our beef and pork from there.

Which is why I wrote this post. There is something about buying local produce and meats that is so wonderful!

When you buy directly from the farmer, he/she gets all of the money. No feeding the corporate beast.

**Side note- Everything I buy at the farmer's market is CHEAPER than the grocery store- with the exception of our sausage, that is about a quarter more expensive (but totally worth it on taste)**

You also get local produce that was pick at freshness, only hours from reaching you. Unlike all the big grocers who pick unripe and transport all over to reach you days or weeks later.

You get grass fed, hormone free beef. Safer due to the lower amounts of E.coli and no additives (usually to kill E.coli) or dyeing meat to look fresh.

Best of all, tasty treats like this...

The blueberry bread I made just this week.  New recipe and it was GREAT!

which, I wouldn't have discovered without a good trip to the Farmer's market, where Mark found the tastiest blueberries ever!!!

So call me a hippie,

Or a granola mom,

I'm happy that way.

Though when you see my baby-wearing-liberal-minded self walking around don't forget to say hello.

I don't think it's catching...

Ha. Ha. ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weekend Recap- BALLOONS!

The highlight of this weekend- Hot Air Balloons!

Our town was having it's summertime festival and at the end they always have a hot air balloon race.

I can remember as a child going out in the morning to see them sailing over the town. The best year was when one got stuck on our house. My dad had to climb up on the roof to dislodge it.

Anyway, we decided to take the girls and get breakfast there too (they have local restaurants set up with food stands).

Breakfast on her face and loving every minute of it.
It was another big hit with Elizabeth. She loved seeing the balloons being blown up and then launching. We could be super close to them, so she could see the flames and everything.

Both girls having fun. They were only sitting like this for the picture, Evie sits behind Elizabeth in the stroller.

From there we went onto the farmer's market...but that's another post. ;) 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One Mad Mommy

I had originally planned to write about this past weekend. But then I went to my doctor, and I came back angry.

So instead of entertaining you all with stories of hot air balloons, I'm afraid I will be ranting instead. Though I do have to warn you, this post talks about "lady" issues. If you are offended by this talk or would prefer not to know, please stop reading now.

Before I delve into the angry part, I'm afraid I have to supply some back story. I'll try to keep it brief though.

Way back when (dinosaurs were extinct though) I was 17, I started having very painful periods. When I went in for a regular checkup I mentioned it to my dr. She told me that was normal and to take ibuprofen. Being young and immature, I didn't fight her on it and starting taking ibuprofen.

(side note- never EVER let someone tell you pain is normal)

To be honest, it didn't hardly put a dent in my pain. So I talked to my aunt who is a nurse. She told me I could take more than what was listed on the bottle, and from then on I was taking huge doses of ibuprofen to manage the pain.

That actually worked until I turned 19 and started having dull aches in my back that wouldn't go away. I went to the dr. Lots of tests and ultrasounds later I was on birth control and taking much stronger pain meds (the pain was so intense). A year or so after seeking help, I begged my doctor to do surgery. The last possible diagnosis was endometriosis and it can only be diagnosed via surgery. He relented and it was discovered I did have it. Two huge adhesions were removed from my ovaries and multiple sections from my abdominal wall. Suddenly, the game had changed and the doctors believed me.

I was advised to start Lupron and it did relieve my pain. Granted the menopausal symptoms were no fun, but I was so happy to be pain free.

After Lupron, I started a cycle of birth control after birth control. Basically, staying on one until it stopped working. About two years after my first surgery, I had to once again go back to Lupron.

From there it was more birth control, bone scans, another surgery, more birth control, pregnancy, miscarriage, and a successful pregnancy.

(Side note- I was SUPER lucky to have gotten pregnant. I credit this to my early and excellent treatment. Especially my doctor in KY- both of my girls are miracle babies)

After pregnancy I had a full ten months of relief. No birth control and no pain meds. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I then went on birth control and that gave me another year.

Then it came back, and I did Lupron again. For some weird reason it didn't work this time, and I had to decide between hysterectomy, more surgery, or pregnancy. We knew we wanted more kids so we got pregnant.

Since I've had Evie my period returned in the second month (even though I exclusively breastfeed). The second period I had was super painful, but I ignored it the best I could. Then this last month I had PAIN. Not with a period, just straight up pain on its own. So I called my doctor.

First it took then over a week to get me in. During that time the pain faded, and I started to wonder if I had a cyst. I kept the appointment and went even though I only had some dull back pain.

From the moment I got there, I knew I should have gone someplace else. While my doctor was a great OB, it was apparent that anything outside of pregnancy was either not interesting or out of her scope.

Now I loved her in the delivery room. She was great! But the whole time yesterday, she was anxious to leave and very non-committal about anything. She even suggested my pain might be due to chasing around two kids. After ten years of dealing with this disease I couldn't believe I had found another doctor that didn't believe me!!!

She finally relented and told me I might have a cyst. They would do an ultrasound, but they couldn't do it that day. It had to be scheduled. So off I went to reception, only to find out that they couldn't do an ultrasound until next thursday- over a week away!!!

Now if you know anything about cysts, you know that they usually don't last very long and by the time I got back would be gone. I was so MAD!!!

First to be told I might be overreacting, and then to not even go through the possibilities seriously?!?

Needless to say, I'm looking for a new doctor and will canceling my ultrasound.

At least it's 29 year old Kate dealing with this instead of 19 year old Kate.

Older Kate knows it's not normal to have pain...

Older Kate won't put up with disrespectful people...

Older Kate knows she is the expert when it comes to her body...

I only hope that other people in the same situation know this too.

Thanks for sticking with me, and if course, for letting me vent.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Recap- Beauty and the Beast

So I'm a week behind, but again, better late than never.

Last weekend was super exciting.  Why?


I'm a huge fan, and can remember when the movie came out.  In fact, for my birthday one year I got the new VHS of Beauty and the Beast (am I dating myself here??).  I actually still have it...and it works.

When I saw our local theatre was putting on a production of Beauty and the Beast, I knew we had to go.  I also knew I wanted to take Elizabeth.  After trying out the Three Little Piggies, I knew she would probably enjoy it.

I was nervous, but I shouldn't have been.

Sitting with Aunt Melissa waiting for the show to start.

Not only were there TONS of little kids there, but Elizabeth LOVED IT and was well behaved.  She sat perfectly still, in awe of the magic the actors created.

All in all, one of the best experiences I've had at the theatre and since Elizabeth is loving it so much, we're headed back.  This time The Reluctant Dragon.  It's for little kids and looks great.  I'm excited!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I confess, I'm a mixed up crazy bag 'o mommy.

It's that time of the week, time to confess all those things that make life fun, annoying, and everything in between.  So after enjoying my lovely confessions, head on over to Mamrazzi  to read everyone's confessions or to join in and confess yourself.

Lately, I've been a big ole bag of crazy emotions.  You can see my crazy fact let's count the crazy. ;)


I confess,

That I haven't done this in a month, and I feel bad about it. 

I miss it.

Most importantly, I miss all the people that drop in to say hello and of course, all the people I get to visit as well.

I'm a little disappointed that I haven't been good about keeping up. But I guess that's life.

Emotion #1- Disappointment

I confess,

That I'm jealous of my oldest daughter, Elizabeth.

She's in swim lessons this week and next.  Every day we walk into the pool area, and I wish it were both of us in the water.

I may be a pasty white girl, but I LOVE to swim.  Hence, the jealously.

Emotion #2- Jealously

I confess,

I am super proud of Elizabeth too.

She is going underwater, kicking really well, and listening to her instructor.

She was a little afraid to jump in today, but that's been it. 

Emotion #3- Pride

I confess,

That I was a little bit miffed that Elizabeth didn't believe me when I told her I was a dr.

You see we got her a dr's kit, and I got out my old labcoat for her to wear. 

It's a nice one.  No blood or excrement on it, but instead my name embroidered.  It's a "show" labcoat, not like the ones I actually wore when I was in the lab.

So I told her it was my coat...and she told me mommy wasn't a dr.  I don't care about the title part, I mean I have never had my students address me as dr, but it bothers me that she didn't believe me.  That I could be dismissed so easily.

And then I thought, this is a small glimpse into the teenage years...and I shuddered.

Emotion #4- Frustration

I confess,

That I took advice from Blue's Clue.

Yeah, the tv show.

Steve said when you are frustrated to take a step back and breathe.  Then think.

I took Steve's advice today...ok, I took it a couple of times.  Sad part, Steve's a pretty smart guy when it comes to frustration.  I actually felt a lot better. 

Then I instantly felt embarrassed that I took emotional advice from a show for preschoolers.

Emotion #5- Embarrassment

I confess,

I was super happy last night.

I got dinner on the table, and Mark asked Elizabeth if it smelt good.

She said, "No, it doesn't smell good, it smells great!". 

Earlier when we made cookies.

I was feeling pretty good at that point.

Emotion #6- Happiness
I confess,

That I was mowing our yard the other day and the belt broke before I could finish.

Now thanks to all this rain and humidity, our yard looks like a jungle.

Very annoying.

Emotion #7- Annoyed

I confess,

I got angry this morning because Evie woke us up at 4 am. 

Yeah, I got mad at this one said I was mom of the year, though.

 I usually don't mind getting up, but I went to bed at 12:40...then night before that 2 am. 

I need sleep. If I don't get sleep, I get cranky.  But I also want to get things done...therefore, I stay up late.

Emotion #8- Anger

I confess,

That I have felt all of these emotions in the last 24 hours, some in the last 6 hours, and a lot in the last two hours.

What does this prove?

A) I'm a woman and capable of emotions.  (technically, I know men have emotions, but don't try to get them to admit to that)

B) I'm a mommy on a rollercoaster called "Preschooler".

Thursday, July 21, 2011

She's little, but never forgotten.

So I write a lot about Elizabeth, and you all don't hear too much about Evie.

That's not on purpose.  The truth is, I tend to write about where we are going and what we are doing...and well, only Elizabeth is old enough for a lot of these classes we participate in. 

But that doesn't mean Evie's not doing a lot of things.

On the contrary, she's really growing and developing quickly.

She constantly smiles!

She is loving her exersaucer...and all the wonderful things to chew on.

She still rocks the cloth diapes...

and has a body built by breastmilk.

Her latest achievement, rolling over! 

Last Wednesday, she was on her kick mat having tummy time and PLOP, she was over.  I was so excited.  I called Mark right away. 

Since I worked full time with Elizabeth, I didn't see her first roll over.  So this time was super special for me, and reminded me how lucky I am to be home.

On top of it all, she coos and goos all the time.  I'm afraid we'll never have silence in this house...but that's fine by me. 

Happy to have my girls!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My little mermaid...

Elizabeth had her first swim lesson yesterday.

I was nervous, because she is a high energy child and needs to work on her focus.  She usually does whatever her teachers tell's getting her to pay attention that is the key.

But all in all, she did well.

She loved her new swimsuit!
She is growing like a weed.  The swimsuits her grandmothers got her are already too small.  YIKES!

She didn't have any problem getting in the water.

Learning to kick.

The teacher only had to redirect her once. YAY!

Floating and pointing at the ceiling.  She was fascinated.
Her favorite part was probably jumping in, but she was best at floating.

About to jump.

We're off again tomorrow, and she can't wait.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer fun!

So our summer activities are still in full swing, even though some things have ended.

The library story time has finished, but will start up again this fall.  We'll be moving up to the preschool one too.

Kindermusik has also finished, but will begin again in the fall.  Until then we've been having our own music time.  It usually ends up like this though...

We wear butterfly wings and dance to "My beautiful butterfly wings", the next song is she gets out Thunder to ride, yes that's the horse.
Or this...

After butterfly wings, taking a rest.

We have kept up with our crafts...
Coloring a Pony!

End result.

And are even baking regularly.
Making chocolate chip cookies...

And maybe tasting just a few of them.

What's up next?

Our calendar.  We have pictures for all our activities, and the Elizabeth picture moves each day to the next activity.  I'm hoping it will help her learn her days of the week.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Last weekend recap...

So I'm a week behind.  I should have posted this last week...but well, better late than never, right??

Anyway, we spent the weekend at a local theme park.  We have season tickets.

Elizabeth loves it.  She especially loves that my sister comes with us. 

She'll scream my sister's name and then the theme park's very exciting.

Anyway, here are a few of the wonderful things she got to do.  We obviously can't do a lot of rides do to her height, but we do as many as we can.

Flying in the elephants with Daddy!

Time to fly this bumble bee!

Duckie ride!

Someone loves the carousel.
We also saw a bubble show.  The guy did all these huge bubble and bubbles in weird shapes.  They also filled the room full of bubbles.  Elizabeth enjoyed it. The rest of us enjoyed the air conditioning. ha ha.

Melissa and I played skee ball too.  I'm not that great, but Melissa is fantastic.  She won Elizabeth a blow up monkey.

Elizabeth promptly named him Seahorse the Monkey. 

And what did Evie do?

Well, what she does best of course.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


So Elizabeth had her first gymnastics lesson.  I was excited about it, because I did gymnastics when I was a kid and LOVED it.

The first one is free to try out.  Did she like it?

 Let's just say our "try out" class was more of a "wait, we have to leave" class.

 Complete with "no really, why are we leaving this wonderful place" looks...

 So we'll be going back.  Plus gymnastics class = good nap time!!  So Mommy loves it too. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sisterly Love

Sometimes I want to cry over the sweetness that is my two girls.

Elizabeth kissing Evie.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Garden Fun

So our garden is producing!!

I'm so excited. We've had a lot of broccoli so far and it is yummy! The summer squash, butternut squash, cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin, and green beans are starting to come up.

We've been picking a lot of squash and zucchini-again really tasty! Our squash plants are really huge, same with the zucchini. In fact, I see a lot of zucchini bread in our future. ;)

Sad to say, our lettuce and carrots didn't turn out. :(. Our okra might make it...not sure yet.

Elizabeth's favorite thing- to eat the broccoli right off the plant.

Never thought I'd have a child that loves veggies this much! ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tea Party!

Almost every day, Elizabeth asks for a tea party.

She was acting shy and looked away when I took the picture.  But it was a great time!

I usually do it at snack time, but this day we had it with our lunch.  We had more than what you see, but those were our starters.

She loves it, and I have to say, I enjoy it too!  Oh and we've been experimenting with "teas"- our latest one is pomegranate cranberry juice with sprite as the creamer.  It is delicious!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Craft Day- Buzzing Bee!

Our last craft day, we made some bees and a hive.

We used an old milk carton and painted them.

Then I had an old container from strawberries that we colored to make their hive. 

Elizabeth LOVES them.  In Kindermusik there is a buzzy bee song, so we sang it while we played with them. 

Lots of fun, Buzzzzz!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A few pics from the fourth.

So we got up the fourth really excited about the day.  Why?

Well, to be honest, I had the day off.  I mean, the WHOLE day off. 

No jobs whatsoever, and if you know me that's a big deal since I have two part time jobs (soon to have three).

Don't get me wrong, I'm always happy to celebrate the birth of our nation.  I love our country and am proud to be an American.  (Yes, even crazy crack pot liberals like me love our country- laugh if you want) ;)

But I haven't had a non-work day in weeks. So excitement.

First we went to the parade.
Waiting for the parade.
Then I'm afraid it got too hot for us to stay with Evie.  I'm ok sweating, but my little babies better not.
Me sweating...
So we then headed off to get pizza.  It was yummy! 

Evie at the restaurant.
On our way home we got some fireworks, mainly because we didn't want to drive back into town late at night with two kids for the main fireworks.  So we got our own. 

The kids to a nap, I cleaned some and then got to read.  Can I tell you how ABSOLUTELY nice it is to just sit and read??  And not something that has pictures (i.e. kid books)?

I MISSED IT.  (and that's an understatement coming from the daughter of a librarian)

The book I read- Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans.  One of the best reads I have had in awhile.  I cannot recommend her book more.  It is fantastic.

After that dinner, which was a bit strange (but that's another post), we watched a little tv and then headed out for fireworks.
You can't see me in this picture, but I am right beside her.  I was totally nervous, but really didn't have to be.

It was fun!!  Except for the few times the fireworks accidently burst over our heads.  Yikes.  But no one got hurt, we were always safe...I was just a little shocked.  I've never shot off fireworks that large before, so it was a new one for me.  Of course Mark was in his element. After that it was bedtime, and I got to crochet!!!

One of the fountains, not a great picture...but they were really pretty.
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