Friday, May 30, 2014

The poem I want to read every day

Maya Angelou passed away on Wednesday and my cousin posted her favorite poem by Angelou on facebook.  Can I tell you I'm a little ashamed that I haven't really read many of Maya's poems?  I'm just not a poetry person (except for that short time in tenth grade when we all had to write poetry books and my friends and I thought we were SO DEEP) 

But this poem moved me, and I want to absorb it and live it and tell everyone about it.  So here it is.

Phenomenal Woman
By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size  
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,  
The stride of my step,  
The curl of my lips.  
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,  
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,  
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.  
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.  
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,  
And the flash of my teeth,  
The swing in my waist,  
And the joy in my feet.  
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered  
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,  
They say they still can’t see.  
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,  
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.  
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.  
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,  
The bend of my hair,  
the palm of my hand,  
The need for my care.  
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Parenting Style

Somewhere between totally self sacrificing and incredibly easy, you'll find my parenting style.  I want to do what is best for my children, but there needs to be balance. 
My 2014 Mother's Day picture, a week late because I looked like death, if death had allergies, on the actual day.
Like co-sleeping.  Maybe it's the best thing in the world for babies if they get to nurse all night long and not feel abandoned by their parents.  But do you know what is also important for babies to have?  Parents that aren't going to have mental break downs.  And in order for me to function as a nice happy mom, I need sleep uninterrupted by a wiggly nursing baby.  I co-sleep until they start squirming in their sleep, both my kids started this at 2 months.  They were OUT OF THERE!  And by out of there, I mean out of my bed into the bassinet six inches away. 

One mom friend posted a question on facebook, "I sleep trained my boy once, but now he's waking up again every night and the same tactics aren't working this time around.  Any ideas?"  (TOTALLY paraphrased)  A mom friend of her's (not a mutual friend) said you should rock your babies (he's 18 months) to sleep because they grow up so quickly and you should savor every moment.  That is such great advice. . . for herself.  I love my babies and I cherish them so much better when I've gotten sleep.  I want to cherish them, but just not at night.  (At least not once they're over a year old!)

Another example is a breastfeeding post I read on another blog.  I can't even remember who wrote it, that's not important.  She told the story of her incredibly difficult breastfeeding journey.  One of her milk ducts wasn't connected to anything, so it would just fill up with milk each let down and it couldn't go anywhere!  She had to go have it removed like once a week if I can remember correctly.  And then eventually she had surgery to fix it, all the while continuing to breastfeed!  Awesome, right.  That sounds rough.  But she ended it with, If I can do it, anyone can do it. 

Wrong-o, bong-o.  I couldn't nurse Olivia because I wasn't making enough milk and she was losing weight.  Could I have started pumping like crazy?  Taking supplements and nursing around the clock?  Could have made a dozen appointments with lactation consultants?  Yes, but why?  I would have been a zombie, a totally crazy person.  I gave that baby a formula bottle and I loved her and she's grown up totally fine. 

I want to do what's best for my kids, and I've learned that means taking care of myself first, so that I can be there for them.  If it's selfish to want to sleep in my bed alone (well Adam is there, but he knows better than to cross into my space) then I guess I'm selfish.  But I like to think I'm doing what's best for everyone involved. 

Thanks for reading, this post has been on my mind for YEARS maybe.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The good, the bad and the ugly

The cute.
This week.  This week.  It's over, thank goodness.  It wasn't all bad.  Let's start with the good.  Always start with the good.  Or end with the good.  I can't remember.

The Good
-I got Olivia into a preschool!  I didn't know preschool registration happened so early in the year.  Most of my friends figured it out for their kids back in March, so I feel really lucky to have found a place close to our house.
-I got my two tank dresses for my etsy shop done for photographing (well, almost done so I know I'll finish them today!)

The Bad
-Our car broke down in Cedar City on Sunday, which extended our very short weekend trip by a day, effectively doubling our vacation.  Another hotel night, another hotel pool, another continental breakfast, and another Tunex bill.
-Axel has another ear infection.  He started crying in the night Wednesday night and Thursday morning I cleaned up puke twice before 8:30am.  Crying in his sleep and throwing up are the only two symptoms he had with his last ear infection so I took him right in, and we caught it early.

The Ugly
-Well, getting thrown up on isn't that pretty. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The center of attention

I'm a strong believer that if you want to "find yourself" you need to look back at the person you were in elementary school.  Middle school messes us up and then in high school we're just trying to hard to fit in, that by the time we hit graduation so many people need a gap year just to figure things out. 

Somehow I thought I was shy, but slowly (even towards the end of high school) I started remembering who I was in kindergarten and elementary.  Loud.  Energetic.  I mean, I couldn't stay in my seat, half the time I was standing at my desk.  (Also I'm really short so maybe I also needed to see over heads)

But tonight, after coming home from a meeting, I realize that I'm learning to harness it.  That not every thought I think needs to come out my mouth.  That I don't have to point out the joke in every situation.  It's better if I can save it for the really good moments. 

This is kind of rambly.  But I like me.  And I like you too.  Let's all just be ourselves.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Would You Do With . . . Flowers?

Aubrey and I are doing our What Would You Do posts today!!
Sometimes I'm great at working on my WWYD projects ahead of time, and sometimes I'm totally last minute.  This month was a last minute kind of time because of the two weeks worth of sickness here in our house, but I think it turned out so fun!

Yesterday I hauled my kids to Hobby Lobby so I could check out their fake flower situation.  They had so many beautiful options, honestly it was hard to choose.  Not a sponsored post, I was just super impressed.  I grabbed a large ranunculus-looking flower and a bunch of small pink ones and then went to the glass wear and snagged a glass bottle wrapped in hemp and a little tear dropped shaped one with a cork in it. 

In a stroke of luck I decided to swing by my sister-in-law's house on the way home to drop off a blanket I mended for her husband (this is my life as the family seamstress) and she loaded me up with knick knacks and some frames.

So this is what I pulled together with what I had:
The Beatrix Potter box set needs a little something else with it, but I couldn't find anything in time.

I wrapped a couple old books in brown craft paper and added some washi tape, topped with the drift wood from my Sis-in-law.  She also gave me the mercury glass star. 

Still a few things I want to change around, but it's a good start!
And since I had a few pink flowers left over, I made a little paper weight of sorts for the paper tray in my bedroom.
We don't need to refill the printer paper often so keeping flowers on top of the extra paper wont really be in the way.
Next month I'm so excited to see What Would You Do With Gold!  Fashion, interiors, jewelry. . . anyway that you want to show off your gold bling!

If you have any posts about decorating with flowers (even old ones!) link 'em up so we can all be inspired.  And for serious, join us next month!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

So it's Mother's Day and I have spent the day with tears streaming down my face.  As well as snot.  Not because I'm crying, but because I seem to be suffering from the worst allergies of all time.  I'm pretty sure it's not a cold because it just feels different, ya know?  I'm a loooong time allergy sufferer so I know the feelings very well.

But I am sad about a couple things.  1. Not getting to taste the special dinner Adam made me (I'll still eat it, but I can't taste much when I'm so stuffed up)  2. We didn't go to church (Olivia is sick too and so it was a domino effect) which means we didn't dress up which means no Mother's Day picture!  I have one from every year since Olivia was a baby.  I guess we'll just need to take one next week.  I hope I remember!! 

Not the best picture, but new motherhood was really hard on me :)
Not the best pictures, but such a fun reminder of my sweet babes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Five Little Confessions: Food

 This month guys, it's all about my eating habits! 

1.  I love hot dogs.  I feel like this is something girls are not supposed to like.  In fact Adam just brought me one from his work activity last night and even though it wasn't "clean" (hot dogs in white flour buns are not a clean food, it wasn't like dirty or anything, just very processed) I ate 2/3 of it.  Mmmm.

2.  I've been off sugar since May 1st and it's going so great!  Except chocolate chips.  I don't count those.  I eat like ten a day, so not over the top.  Also they're in my banana bread, which otherwise is sugar free.  I don't think it counts.  I just love chocolate.

3.  I made this banana bread four times in the last two weeks.  And I didn't really share with anyone.  When I see ripe bananas at someone's house, I ask if they are going to use them or throw them out.  If the answer is throw out, I snag 'em.  Bananas never have a chance to get very ripe at my house.  

4.  Before I was married I would eat really odd meals.  Like a can of green beans for dinner.

5.  Tonight I made a smoothie with mangos I diced and froze like a year ago.  It tasted good.  Which is lucky because there are still a lot of mangos in the bag.  I don't use them faster because I don't want to use them all up.  It's like I'm trying to save them for something special, but c'mon.  Seriously?  I need to get over it. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What we watch when we're sick: Willy Wonka

Let's take a moment to admire that title.  All "W" words except sick.  I couldn't think of a "W" word for sick.  But honestly I didn't try that hard.

We've had the flu here for FOUR DAYS.  That is a long time when you have kids.  I haven't gotten it (fingers crossed) but Adam just came home from work last night with symptoms.  Great.  Olivia has had it the worst and so it's been a lot of TV for us.  Axel doesn't watch TV so he's more difficult (except that he does like to spend many hours in his bed resting, so that is a plus!) but Olivia can watch TV all day, napping off and on.  I thought it would be fun to rent a movie for her and since she's been loving songs from Willy Wonka on Pandora I picked that one.

We have seriously watched it ten times at least.  At least.  And I still love it!!  I thought she might be a little young for it, but I was wrong.  The music, the imagery and the candy make it a great movie for young kids. 

What I love about it:

1. The candy man song.
"Who can take tomorrow, dip it in a dream, separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream?  The candy man, the candy man can."

I mean sure, this song might have helped contribute to the problem most of us have with eating our feelings, but the lyric is beautiful. 

2. The teacher. 
"Of course you don't know. You don't know because only *I* know. If you knew and I didn't know, then you'd be teaching me instead of me teaching you - and for a student to be teaching his teacher is presumptuous and rude. Do I make myself clear?"

"I've just decided to switch our Friday schedule to Monday, which means that the test we take each Friday on what we learned during the week will now take place on Monday before we've learned it. But since today is Tuesday, it doesn't matter in the slightest. Pencils ready!"

3. Watching Olivia get so excited about Charlie finding the last golden ticket, every time.

4. Willy Wonka eats the cup.
I don't know why, but I just love this moment.  And Olivia does too.  We laugh and laugh every time.

5. She's a bad egg.

What movies from your childhood have you introduced to your kids??  Probably one of my favorite things about having them.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Clean Banana Bread (make this banana bread right now)

One of my friends made whole wheat banana bread a few weeks ago and I have been wanting some ever since.  But I was sure there were recipes that didn't include a ton of sugar, or any sugar actually.  I'm trying to not eat sugar.

I found this recipe, and it was awesome!!  Call me crazy, but I thought it was a little bit sweet, so I swapped the honey with the applesauce and I think it was much better balanced.  Instead of 1/2 c honey and 1/4 c apple sauce, I did 1/2 c applesauce and 1/4 c honey.  Perfection.

It's so good for you, you can eat it for breakfast.  It's so good tasting, you can eat it for dessert.


  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (I never have any so I leave this out)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (or semisweet chocolate chips)
  • Olive oil cooking spray, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, flaxseed and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, with a hand mixer, beat bananas until smooth. Add egg whites and beat until combined. Gradually mix in applesauce, honey and safflower oil.  (OR you can do what I do and put the bananas and eggs in the blender and whip 'em up good and then add in the the remaining wet ingredients) 
  3. Mix dry ingredients into banana mixture; stir in chocolate. (You can add the dry ingredients to the blender and pulse a few times, but you'll have to stir the chocolate chips in with a spoon) 
  4. Mist a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until browned on top.
Honestly, I have a hard time getting my banana bread not gooey in the middle.  Sometimes it comes out great and other times not.  I'm going to try five degrees hotter and five extra minutes next time I make it.  Tomorrow.  Or today.  Right now. 

Update: When I pulled my banana bread out of the oven I stuck a knife in it and it was still doughy in the middle. So I put some foil over the top and stuck it back in for ten minutes and voila!  Perfectly baked.  Also, when mixing the batter I used a whole egg instead of two egg whites because it's just one yolk and I hate to waste :)